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Celebrating NFTY’s Diamond Jubilee



Taking the words of the prophet Joel as the refrain of her 1981 classic song “And The Youth Shall See Visions,” Debbie Friedman captured the role of young people in our Movement: And the old shall dream dreams, and the youth shall see visions, And our hopes shall rise up to the sky. For 75 […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs to Speak at 50th Anniversary March on Washington



Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, will represent the Reform Movement at the 50th Anniversary March on Washington on August 24, 2013 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  The program will feature an interfaith ecumenical prayer service with national clergy and live musical performances. Rabbi Jacobs said, I am honored […]

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Honoring Chiune Sugihara, An Unknown Hero



Before today, the Coleman community had never heard of Chiune Sugihara. After today, I do not think that they will ever forget about him.

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One, Two, Three: Increase Your Congregation’s Israel Engagement



by Hope Chernak Last spring, I was privileged to participate, together with the URJ’s camp staff, in an educators’ kallah in Israel, held in partnership with several Jewish summer camps and concurrently with the Jewish Agency’s shlichim training seminar. I was fortunate to sit with talented educators—both North Americans and Israelis—who now are serving in […]

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D’var Torah of Awesome: MC New Orleans Engages With Congregation Gates of Prayer



To quote a piece of text from this week’s portion, “These were the marches of the Israelites who started out from the land of Egypt, troop by troop.” Well, these past two weeks have been our march. Starting out from all over the country, step by step, taking part in tikkun olam.

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Reflections on Meeting Pope Francis



by Rabbi Rick Block On Monday, I had the privilege of meeting Pope Francis, accompanied by my wife, Susie, and members of a small delegation of Jewish leaders from International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), of which the Central Conference of American Rabbis is a member. We met at the Apostolic Palace, the Pope’s […]

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Hard, Honest Questions



Will synagogues continue to exist in the future? Will the next generation engage in Jewish life? Is Reform Judaism still relevant? These hard, honest questions underlie the conversations we members of the URJ leadership team have every day with leaders and staff of Reform congregations.  Last week I was honored to be the ordination speaker […]

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Internet Round-Up: The Best Jewish Stories on the Web



Here are just a few of the recent stories from across the webosphere that speak directly to (and about) Reform Jews. What Jewish stories have you been reading recently? Leave a comment and let us know! “Modern-Day Rabbi Must Be CEO, Teacher, and Spiritual Leader at Once,” Forward Are rabbis the new CEOs? Anne Cohen […]

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Jewish American Heritage Month: A Time to Preserve Your Congregation’s Heritage



May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which is a great impetus to talk about congregational heritage preservation. These days, communities are rapidly changing and Jewish communities are no exceptions: Congregations that were once large and thriving now find themselves with dwindling membership rolls; meanwhile other congregations are experiencing unexpected growth and are faced with the […]

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Coming Together in Times of Crisis



by Rabbi Hara Person As we all try and process the horrors of the Boston marathon bombing, we must remember to stop and appreciate the good works that often gets overshadowed by the seemingly endless parade of horrible we read about each day. Almost six months ago almost the entire east coast was rocked by […]

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Olim: Changing The World One Bunk At A Time



Every camper has their own spark, something that makes them tick, their burning passion. An ineffable desire that makes them excited to wake up each morning. One action item for the counselors is to help each camper find and ignite their spark.

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Recalling MLK Jr. and Maurice Eisendrath



by Rabbi Everett Gendler An e-mail arrived from the indefatigable Art Waskow reminding us that April 4th was the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The reminder included a photo from a demonstration at the Arlington National Cemetery along with valuable excerpts from King’s prophetic remarks about Vietnam delivered at Riverside […]

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Isaac Mayer Wise and Me



by Rabbi Yair D. Robinson Last Shabbat, we commemorated the birthday of someone very special. A red-headed and red-bearded rabbi, a scholar, a prince of the Reform Movement who is inarguably one of the most important Reform rabbis — nay, one of the most important rabbis, period — of North America. Amazingly, I’m not speaking about […]

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