Posts Tagged: Biennial 2013

This Ain’t Your Father’s Reform Judaism



by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein One Friday night in December, I prayed at a Baptist-style, tent-revival, amen/hallelujah, neo-Hasidic Jewish service. Yes, that was Shabbat at the URJ Biennial, and although I was prepared for the spirit of it, based on my years in youth group, I wasn’t quite prepared for the spirituality of it. I grew […]

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Bringing 5,000 Voices to My Southern Jewish School



Not raised in the movement, I found it was just like when I first started my job as a Nadiv Educator with the URJ. I was once again being plunged into “Reform Boot Camp.” I found myself “always thinking” thinking like I think at camp. Thinking like I think at school

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URJ Launches Details of “Inspired Engagement” for Jewish Youth



The URJ unveiled a new strategy for engaging youth at its Biennial Convention in San Diego this past week. “Inspired engagement” – what the URJ is branding as its distinct way of engaging youth – emerged after an eight-month strategic planning process that included voices of more than 700 stakeholders from across the Jewish community […]

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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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Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Address to the 2013 URJ Biennial



[Editor’s note: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered the following remarks via satellite at the 2013 URJ Biennial on Sunday, December 15th.] Thank you very much, Rick [Jacobs]. I want to say that you’ve just spoken about my personal commitment and involvement. I want to speak about your personal commitment and involvement. It is as deep […]

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Anat Hoffman’s Biennial Address: “More Than One Way to Be Jewish”



[Editor’s Note: This address was given by Noa Sattath on behalf of Anat Hoffman, director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, on Saturday night at the URJ Biennial.] Anat lost her voice. Despite all the remedies and chicken soup suggested by many in this conference, she can’t speak. […]

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2013 URJ Biennial

Twitter as a Means to Process a Professional Conference: Reflections on @URJ’s Biennial13



It happens every time. I forget how truly overwhelming the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial convention will be. I know that I will be busy with sessions, presentations and meetings. I know that I will walk (and walk and walk); that I will learn, talk, laugh and sing. And I know that I won’t nearly […]

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2013 URJ Biennial

Unpacking the URJ Biennial



by Jaclyn Cohen Wow. That’s not a word I use often enough. But I will use it to describe the past four days, which I spent in San Diego along with about 5,000 others at the Union for Reform Judaism‘s 2013 Biennial. Every two years, the URJ gathers together thousands of Reform Jews – lay […]

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And Yet, He Lived: A D’var Torah on Parashat Va-y’chi from URJ Biennial 2013



[Editor’s note: This d’var was given by Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Senior Vice President of the URJ, on Friday night at the URJ Biennial.] Shabbat shalom! This week we read parashat va-y’chi, taken from the opening verse: “And Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years.  Va-y’chi, meaning “and he lived” is an ironic name, since the […]

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Amidst 5,000 Worshipers, a Sanctuary of Peace



It’s not often that a rabbi gets to sit back off the bimah and lean into inspiring prayer. The constant responsibility for creating T’filah for others, partnering with a cantor and other shlichei tzibur (prayer leaders), draws our attention everywhere but our own spiritual selves. And then there are moments like this morning’s shacharit  service […]

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Announcing an Exciting New Israel Engagement Initiative for Congregations



The late Rabbi David Hartman, z”l, was honored posthumously tonight at the URJ Biennial Convention in San Diego, CA., by receiving the Reform Movement’s highest honor, the Alexander M. Schindler Award for Service to World Jewry. Named for Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, the second president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations from 1973-1996, this […]

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2013 URJ Biennial

Community and Leadership, Whether You’re at Biennial or Not



by Rachel Roth [Editor’s Note: The following post was presented as a drash at an executive meeting of the American Conference of Cantors on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013.] One of the most interesting statistics that I found in the Pew Study is the somewhat low rate of importance of being part of a community as […]

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Fostering Inclusion and Accessibility at the 2013 Biennial



Anyone who has attended a URJ Biennial knows that the experience touches your soul, lifts your spirits, increases your Judaic knowledge, and improves your singing ability. Now, the 2013 Biennial will also help congregations and individuals understand how to include those with disabilities as welcome and appreciated full members of your community. This Biennial will […]

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Join the Virtual Biennial Experience!



Can’t join us next week at the URJ Biennial? You can be a part of the convention from the comfort of your own home! We’ll be live-streaming all plenary sessions and Shabbat worship at www.urj.org/biennial, or you can watch the sessions on cable when they play live on JLTV. You can also join the conversation […]

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