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The Century Ends: NFTY Music of the 90s



by Cantor Rosalie Boxt Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade. I have often wondered what it would have been like to be a songleader with my mentors, my friends, and my “heroes” in the 70s. Yet, as I reflect back on the time when I was a young songleader, during […]

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URJ Books and Music Releases the Ultimate Debbie Friedman Anthology



URJ Books and Music is proud to release the ultimate anthology of the musical works of Debbie Friedman, z”l (1951 – 2011). Regarded as one of the most influential Jewish singer-songwriters in history, Debbie is known for her timeless Jewish folk music, filled with peaceful and universal messages, which have been adopted by Jewish congregations […]

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On Being the URJ Biennial’s Artist-in-Residence



by Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik What an incredible experience. Five thousand Reform Jews from around the world (mostly from North America) gathering together in San Diego for the 2013 URJ Biennial, where I was the artist-in-residence. I had three things to get done: The first was to create an original artwork inspired by Biennial, created entirely at […]

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Remembering Arik Einstein, Who Helped Change the World A Little Bit



by Alona Nir One of the names that will be mentioned at the URJ Biennial this week is Arik Einstein. Those of us who spent time in Jewish activities during our childhood, especially in NFTY or at summer camp, are familiar with famous song “Ani Ve Ata Neshane Et Ha’Olam,” which translates to “You and […]

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Fun for Jewish Foodies at the URJ Biennial



The URJ announced this week that renowned New York Times food writer Mark Bittman will address the 2013 URJ Biennial in a Friday forum, titled “Food, Food, You Shall Pursue.” The forum, sponsored by Jewish Food Justice Fellowship, a Leichtag Foundation Initiative, will feature a discussion about the intersection of Jewish tradition, sustainable agriculture and […]

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The Temple Beth David Mosaic: A Reminder to Do Mitzvot



by Jason Marshall In February 2012, Temple Beth David in Spring Hill, Florida, embarked on a mission to develop a piece of art. It would not be just a piece of art, however; it also would embody something with much greater meaning. The Torah tells us that we must not only think about mitzvot (ethical […]

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Choral Infusion: North American Jewish Choral Festival



Summer is camp season – not only for kids but also for adults. And if singing is your passion, there’s nothing like the North American Jewish Choral Festival, a project of the Zamir Choral Foundation (Matthew Lazar, founder and director). Last month, I attended full festival for the first time and felt the power of […]

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Jewish Books and Libraries: A Match Made in Heaven



by Ellen Tilman I am in Jewish book heaven. I’ve been dreaming about what new books I will purchase for my congregational library ever since attending the annual conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). Why do I attend this conference and what do I gain from it? At the Meyers Library of Reform […]

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Living the Jewish Value of Being “Guardians of the Earth” at Camp Harlam



It was just two short summers ago that URJ Camp Harlam had a teensy little garden. It was a sweet plot of land with some colorful perennials and herbs for Havdalah, plus a few rows of juicy tomato plants and other green veggies basking in the summer sun. But this summer we decided to put […]

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Kol Yisrael: Engaging our Human Resources



by Micah Lapidus Jewish day school sustainability is about more than survival. It’s about maintaining a diverse, vibrant, dynamic, healthy, growing school community. The best way to achieve day school sustainability is by ensuring that we’re fully engaging our human resources.  What does it look like to fully engage our human resources? Here’s a case […]

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Using the ATM To Bring Teens to Temple



The entire American Jewish world, it seems, is focused on how to engage or reengage the younger generations of Jews. Foundations are funding, denominations are discussing, and Federations and synagogues are searching for the latest and greatest strategies to engaging these lost generations. Our own Union for Reform Judaism kicked off its Campaign for Youth […]

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Singing (Jewishly!) in the Rain



Who travels to Miami in the coldest, rainiest week that Florida has seen this winter? I do. My excuse? I was one of 40 or so composers whose pieces (you can listen to mine here) were selected for presentation at the Fifth International Festival held by Shalshelet, the Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music – […]

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Tell Me a Story: The Power of Telling Tales



by Marilyn Price I’m not exactly sure when it first began. My guess is that I was 4 or younger, and my brother David was 6. We shared a bedroom, the only one, in an apartment with my folks on the north side of Chicago. They slept on the pull-out hideaway bed in the living […]

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A Story Well-Told; for the People of the Book



by Cantor Ellen Dreskin Not many of us stop to think about the role of storytelling in our lives. Everything that happens to us is sifted through our own filters, our own history, our own set of circumstances, and settles in our hearts and our brains as a story – our story. If Torah or […]

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