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Celebrating American Thanksgiving in Israel during the past 40 years



Reminiscing about Thanksgivings past and our first celebration as a young couple living in Kiryat Nordau, Netanya found us hosting Israeli cousins who had been exceedingly kind in welcoming us as new olim.  They joked for many years after about ‘Tanksgiving’. Working with NFTY and with Indiana University students at Hebrew University, I came to […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

How to Ensure Reform Voices and Values are Heard Throughout the World



Shalom from Jerusalem! I arrived on Sunday – together with many other Diaspora Jewish leaders – for the 37th Zionist Congress – often referred to as “The Parliament of the Jewish People.” Especially as our hearts break as our people are viciously attacked throughout this beloved land, taking us further and further from the peace […]

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When It Comes to the Middle East, It Can’t Be All Black and White



by Kendra Gerstein As a community, we feel deeply the recent acts of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. It is painful to see these senseless attacks being repeated day after day. Many of us feel both angry and sad as these events continue to unfold. As fears and tensions rise, the outcry is […]

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Emerging Reform Summer Camp Affirms the Jewish Future in France



By Rabbi Tom Cohen The terrorist attacks in Paris last January suggested to some French Jews that they try to find a safer haven elsewhere. For many others, however, these traumas have only reinforced the desire to continue building a proud Liberal Jewish community in France that is faithful to the prophetic dream of being […]

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Reform Jewish Movement Response to Iran Deal: Address Important Concerns, Focus on the Day After



Following extensive consultations with experts from across the political spectrum in both the United States and Israel, and thoughtful conversation with North American Reform Jewish leaders, the Reform Jewish Movement today issued a leadership statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The statement – released today by the leaders of the Union for […]

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Coming Full Circle: The NFTY in Israel Tikkun Olam Experience



by Sharon Mann The phrase “what goes around, comes around” came to mind recently as I remembered back five years to the time I saw my daughter, Ayelet, off on a flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto, Canada. She was headed to URJ Camp George, a Reform Jewish summer camp where she would spend the […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Israel: Front and Center



As we all wait for word about the future of the critical talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Vienna, I want to share a few thoughts about my recent time in Israel, meeting with politicians, fellow Reform Movement leaders, and some of the talented individuals staffing our Israel programs this summer. It was a […]

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Counting Days and Making Days Count



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg And from the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering-the day after the Shabbat – you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: you must count until the day after the seventh week – fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to […]

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Death of Alberto Nisman: Justice Must Not be Delayed or Denied



The World Union for Progressive Judaism issued the following statement about news of the death of Alberto Nisman: The World Union for Progressive Judaism joins the leadership of our Latin America region (WUPJ-LA) in expressing shock and horror as we learned the news of the death of Alberto Nisman, lead prosecutor in the search for […]

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Today Matters: Make It Count



By Rabbi Josh Weinberg “This is the day that the Lord has made – let us exult and rejoice on it.” -Psalms 118:24 During the years I taught Jewish history on our Movement’s NFTY-EIE high school semester abroad program, at the end of each semester I would ask my students this question: “What are the […]

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If Not Now, When? NFTY’s Role in Freeing Soviet Jews



by Rachel Mersky Woda Growing up in a Reform Jewish household meant that you learned at an early age the value of tikkun olam, repairing the world. In our home, we were surrounded by opportunities for activism, and the one that occupied us for years was the plight of the Jews in  Russia. In the […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ Letter to Delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly



Copies of this letter are being given to delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly in Detroit, MI, who will be voting this week on several Israel-focused resolutions related to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Dear Friend, As the president of America’s largest Jewish denomination, representing 1.5 million North American Jews, it is my […]

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Synagogue in Simferopol, Ukraine Needs Urgent Repairs



The following was sent on Thursday morning as an email on behalf of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. The bottom of this post includes a link to donate to help Jewish communities in Ukraine during this time of crisis. Dear World Union Family: In the past few weeks we’ve shared with you what has been […]

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Saperstein Condemns Anti-Semitism Against Ukrainian Jewry



In response to several anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine, the site of ongoing social upheaval, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement: The events in Ukraine are deeply concerning for all who value human rights. We pray that the unrest will be resolved in a peaceful and […]

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