Posts Tagged: Holidays

First (Probably) Annual Rosh HaShanah Sermon Round-Up



What did Reform rabbis talk to their congregations about this Rosh HaShanah? Based on my totally non-scientific survey, Israel was far and away the most popular topic. (Read on for links to sermons by rabbis Block, Bob, Davidson, Gropper, Gurvis, A. Hirsch, Kipnes, Kaufman, Ottenstein, and Prosnit.) That is true many years, and given the […]

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Engage Jewish Youth During the High Holiday Season



With the High Holidays approaching, congregations are considering new ways to effectively connect to more youth at this vital time in the Jewish calendar. If your synagogue is among those looking at new approaches this year, consider the following variables: Make sure the program content is varied. Teens need spirituality, but are also drawn to […]

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Eight Ways Your Congregation Can Be More Welcoming for the High Holidays



The High Holidays are a special time in the Jewish calendar, a time when many unaffiliated Jews (those who are not members of a congregation) may feel the need to connect to the broader Jewish community. Even if they don’t attend synagogue throughout the year, the High Holidays may inspire these individuals and their families […]

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A Passover Social Action Update from the RAC



Every year I look forward to Passover, when we gather with family and friends, share a festive meal, and retell the story of our exodus from Egypt – with all the lessons applied to today’s urgent moral dilemmas and to the struggles for freedom in America and across the globe. At every seder, I am […]

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A Special Worship Service for Jews with Disabilities and Their Families



by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined.  I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that […]

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What the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution Is (and Is Not)



Last month – on the front page of the New York Times, no less – there was a lengthy article on the state of b’nai mitzvah ceremonies in the United States. This coverage came just days after the latest example of an over-the-top celebration outside Las Vegas, which featured an ostentatious display of dancers, lighting, and more. Perhaps you saw the video on YouTube. The newspaper article questioned – as we all do, I believe – how this rite of passage can become as meaningful and as moving as our ancestors intended. The article proceeds to highlight and applaud what is being termed the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution, a program run by the Union for Reform Judaism, which aims to inject thought and scrutiny into the broader process of becoming b’nai mitzvah.

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How a Whole Congregation Wrote its Rabbi’s Yom Kippur Sermon



Utilizing a process called the Social Sermon, I developed my Yom Kippur morning sermon this year in partnership with Facebook Friends, TED ,and a group of insightful congregants. To be blunt, this year, the whole Congregation Or Ami wrote its rabbi’s Yom Kippur sermon. Where Great Sermon Ideas Come From Rabbis explore sermon ideas from […]

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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! “Man Whose Late Son Was Victim of Bullying Urges Campers to Change Culture,” The Berkshire Eagle Campers at URJ […]

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Tishah B’Av 5773 in Retrospect: Reflections from a Neo-Classical Reform Jew



by Jordan Friedman This year, I did something I’ve never really done before in my entire life. I observed  Tishah B’Av. I went to the home of a very dear friend who is used to marking the solemn day in semi-traditional fashion: by fasting and contemplating all historic tragedies that have befallen the Jews and, […]

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Hectic Times, in the Very Best Way



Despite the fact that summer, with its hopefully slower pace, is just around the corner, the last few weeks have been packed! At the end of April, I joined 117 congregational presidents who had gathered in Atlanta for the annual Scheidt Seminar, the URJ’s unique leadership training initiative specifically designed for current and incoming presidents. […]

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Israel Pauses to Remember its Fallen



Sirens were sounded throughout Israel at 8 PM on Sunday night and 11 AM this morning in Israel, in memory of the more than 25,000 fallen Israeli soldiers and terror victims. As the Jewish state ushered in Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, the nation, and indeed the Jewish world, paused to reflect on the cost […]

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Israel Turns 65: Special Yom Ha’atzmaut Live Broadcast



Celebrate Israel’s birthday with the Reform Movement! You’re invited to join friends from across the world for a special celebration of Israel’s 65th Birthday, broadcast live from Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, Israel. On Monday, April 15th, ARZA and the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism will host a special online “Havdalah” ceremony to mark the conclusion […]

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The Tamchui Project: Teaching Kids the Mitzvah of Helping Those in Need



by Jacki Hart and Stephanie Rotsky Still relatively green as parents, choosing a school for our then-4-year-old and nearly-6-year-old felt like a major “grown up” responsibility. What would they learn; how would they be taught? Would the school nurture their nature? And could the school selection influence who they might become? The emphasis on social […]

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NFTY-MV: Understanding Modern Day Slavery



Each year, as the grocery stores begin to display their Pesach foods, I, without fail, think to myself “Passover time already?!” Each year, we are commanded to “regard ourselves as if we ourselves went forth from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8) so that we can feel how sweet freedom is.

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