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Make Miracles Happen This Hanukkah by Helping Ethan Kadish



On June 29, at Goldman Union Camp Institute, a URJ summer camp near Indianapolis, Ethan Kadish was teaching a group of younger children how to play ultimate Frisbee when a bolt of lightning struck him to the ground. Today, Ethan is in the Rehabilitation Unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital preparing for his upcoming discharge to […]

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Typhoon Haiyan Calls for Action on Climate Change



When faced with catastrophe and war, we are quick to recall Leviticus 19: “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds.” This Jewish teaching led us to rally for stronger laws to prevent gun violence after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school and called us to demand justice after the Boston Marathon bombing. […]

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A New Malaria Fellowship Opportunity for College Students!



We’ve got big news coming from our partnership with Nothing But Nets! Together with the United Nations Foundation, we are launching a new Malaria Fellowship program for the most engaged, social justice-minded college students. The Fellowship will run from January 2014 through April 2014. Fellows will learn about the plague of malaria in Africa, help […]

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For the Sake of our Soul



By Rabbi Joshua Wienberg “A new light will shine upon Zion and we shall all benefit quickly from its light.” (morning liturgy) In 1897, Theodor Herzl established the first Zionist Congress, which assembled European Zionists to formally work together towards the establishment of a Jewish State. Some 24 years later, following a decision reached at the […]

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WRJ and LGBT Rights: A Brief History



by Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell From its founding in 1913, The National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods has served as a powerful and effective vehicle for Reform Jewish women to share their commitment to and advocacy for increasing justice in the world. As such, the women of our movement have been long-standing advocates for the rights of […]

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Help the URJ Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan



In the early morning hours of November 9, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines. The equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, the storm displaced hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the region’s Pacific Islands. Initial accounts indicate that as many as 10,000 lives have been lost, and authorities […]

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TRUST Act’s Moral Backers: Rabbis and Jewish Advocates Mobilized for Change



When Governor Brown signed the TRUST Act into law on October 5th, 2013, moral advocates from across California were ecstatic: for three years, a coalition of religious, civic and social groups have organized and mobilized to promote passage of the TRUST Act. Prior to the TRUST Act, undocumented residents could be held for deportation after […]

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Why Do People Volunteer at the Synagogue?



by Neil Platt Earlier this year, my synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands, endeavored to build a new Havdalah area with a wooded trail and outdoor teaching area. Happily, we completed the work in time to consecrate the area during this year’s Yom Kippur Havdalah service. Nearly 200 people withstood the Texas summer heat […]

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Reform Movement Condemns Government Shutdown



In response to the failure of Congress to pass a funding bill, resulting in a government shutdown, Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement today: On behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.3 million Reform Jews, and the […]

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Help Colorado Flood Victims



The URJ is working closely with our Colorado congregations to assess damage to their buildings and within their communities. We are aware of damage to one synagogue and are working with local leadership to facilitate necessary repairs and a replacement of religious school text books. Individuals interested in donating directly to Colorado flood victims are […]

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The New Bar Mitzvah: Read All About It!



Just before Rosh HaShanah, the New York Times ran a story titled “Bar Mitzvahs Get New Look to Build Faith.” The piece introduces readers to the Reform Movement’s new B’nai Mitzvah Revolution, an initiative to reinvent the bar and bat mitzvah that began with 13 pilot congregations. The American bar mitzvah, facing derision for Las […]

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May the New Year Be a Good Year for Us



Shana tovah u’metukah (a good and sweet new year) from all of us here at the Religious Action Center! As we prepare to leave 5773 behind us and welcome in 5774, we pause to reflect on the closing year, and look to the next with hope and with solemnity. In the coming days, Jews across […]

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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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MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger & URJ Campers Send Over 500 Letters to President Obama



It’s so hard to believe the summer is coming to a close. It feels like just yesterday that I was gearing up for another summer of travel, visiting URJ camps across the country to teach a Hunger Advocacy program on behalf of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. I was thrilled to visit URJ Greene Family Camp, Eisner Camp and Crane Lake Camp this summer, and I am left with so many fantastic impressions from the kids I worked with.

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