Posts Tagged: congregational life

Jay Ruderman: Disability Issues are Issues of Social Justice



by Jay Ruderman Wikipedia defines social justice as, “the ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live.” This definition can be broken down into three parts: realizing potential, in society, and where they live. For Jewish people with disabilities, each of these parts presents a challenge – and for the […]

Read more

It Takes a Village (and a Little URJ Help) to Build a Congregational Website



With people doing so much of their shopping online these days – for everything from clothing to electronics to groceries to books, and just about everything else – it’s become evident to my synagogue’s board that temple shopping begins online, too. Prospective members no longer wait to drop in unannounced at Shabbat services or attend […]

Read more

Just Say Yes: Inclusion is a No-Brainer



Past President Michael Kaplan likes to tell the story about why he joined his current congregation and ultimately became its president. He talks about one High Holy Days when he entered the sanctuary with his wife, their profoundly challenged son Brandon, and Brandon’s guide dog. Settling into the services, sitting in the front row, they […]

Read more

Welcome to the Tent!



For some time now, you may have been hearing about The Tent, our new online communication and collaboration platform for the leadership of the Reform movement. We are pleased to announce that during the next few weeks, you will be invited to join the community of Reform Leaders actively using the Tent online collaboration software […]

Read more
Journal of Youth Engagement

Don’t Wait 30 Years to Host a NFTY Conclave!



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. by Neil Platt “Will 20 bottles of pasta sauce be enough for 36 pounds of pasta?” This first text message reminded me why I […]

Read more

Helping Jewish Teens Step Into Their “Comfort Zones”



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. by Jonathan Hausman During one of my graduate seminars we reviewed a book called: “The Leader Who is Hardly Known,” by Steven Simpson. Our […]

Read more

The Year That Was: One Congregation’s Prayer Services without a Rabbi



My synagogue, Kehillat Emet VeShalom in Nahariya, Israel, just completed a year of prayer services on our own without a rabbi. We recently met to reflect on the year and to voice our thoughts and opinions. First, to set the mood and remind us of some of the special moments that we shared during the […]

Read more

Sometimes Inclusion Makes Me Nervous



On Yom Kippur morning, an amazing young woman came to our bimah to chant Torah.  She happens to be blind. And while I eagerly anticipated what I knew would be a stunning aliyah, I found myself really nervous. Why would I be nervous?  This should have been a moment of immense pride that the inclusive […]

Read more

URJ Chairman’s Perspective: Why I Volunteer



Like many of you, I am a volunteer. And, like all of us who volunteer, there are days when I question my own sanity and ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” As I reflect on it, the answer to why we volunteer in a congregation or at the Union for Reform Judaism is no […]

Read more

An Open Door: Youth Engagement in Our Jewish Community



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. by Lindsay Ganci At The Community Synagogue of Port Washington, N.Y., all Jewish teens in the area are welcome to join our youth programs—whether […]

Read more

It’s Never Too Late To Engage Our Teens



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. by Ellie Laycook During Rosh HaShanah this year, one of “my” teens was invited to give the High Holy Day appeal during services.  The […]

Read more

Teen “Busy-ness”: A Challenge or an Opportunity?



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. by Jeffrey and Amy Kagan “Busier than ever:” This is the refrain we, as youth advisors, hear over and over again about the schedules […]

Read more

Biennial: The Antidote to Pew Study Anxiety



Soon after I finished reading the Pew Research’s Religion and Public Life Project study, “A Portrait of Jewish Americans,” the first thing I did was to register for the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention in San Diego. Getting together with 5,000+ committed Jews ranks high on my short list of responses to the more […]

Read more

Knowing When it’s Time: A Response to Rabbi Rosalind Gold



La-kol z’man; v’eit l’khol khefetz takhat ha-shamayim…eit s’fod v’eit r’kod… (To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to mourn and a time to dance…) These words from Ecclesiastes 3, so familiar and widely affirmed to us in liturgy and in song, are nonetheless ignored in the common […]

Read more