Posts Tagged: Jewish living
Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Jewish Dialogue 2013: What are the Boundaries and Limitations?



The second session of the Knesset Caucus for Israel-US relations, held by M.K Dr. Nachman Shai in cooperation with the Ruderman Family Foundation, was held on November 12, 2013 at the Knesset in Jerusalem. The session focused on “Jewish Dialogue 2013: What are the boundaries and limitations?” Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi David Stav were […]

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Love at First Biennial



by Eric Chafetz My life changed with one simple statement: “I have too much homework. I’m not going to go.” That’s how the conversation began with my friend and colleague, Brett, when I told him I’d changed my mind about attending the 2011 URJ Biennial in Washington, D.C. Luckily for me, he was very convincing […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Don’t Give Up on Jews Who Care About Being Jewish



Last week, the Pew Center for Research released a new study of American Jews that is still reverberating throughout the Jewish world and beyond. But so much of the analysis has been locked into binary categories: Who won and who lost? Is the glass half full or half empty? Are Jews a religion or a […]

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A Family in Our Community Needs Your Help



Ethan Kadish is a 13-year-old boy in great need of the Reform Jewish community’s help. On June 29, 2013, the afternoon peace of Shabbat at URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Zionsville, IN, was shattered by a lightning strike that left three campers unresponsive on the athletic field. Thanks to the skill, courage, and […]

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The Many Blessings of Jewish Summer Camp



Last Friday afternoon, I arrived at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA, just as camp was ushering in Shabbat. The staff member who greeted me at the gate showed me where to park and explained that I would be able to find services on my own – that I would hear them. Sure enough, […]

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URJ Kutz Camp Talks Political Advocacy



This summer, a class of teens at the URJ Kutz camp in Warwick, NY studied political advocacy with Alison Stamm, the Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai of Roslyn. Alison’s minor, called “Get up. Stand up. Stand up for your rights,” emphasized the importance of influencing legislative change for the greater good.  Drawing upon […]

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Choral Infusion: North American Jewish Choral Festival



Summer is camp season – not only for kids but also for adults. And if singing is your passion, there’s nothing like the North American Jewish Choral Festival, a project of the Zamir Choral Foundation (Matthew Lazar, founder and director). Last month, I attended full festival for the first time and felt the power of […]

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The 2013 “Double Chai in the Chi” List is Out!



Mazal tov to the 36 Jewish Chicagoans recently named to Double Chai in the Chi, a list that shines a spotlight on the faces of Chicago’s Jewish future and recognizes the amazing contributions of this generation. The young professionals featured are noted for making a difference through their work, giving back in their free time, […]

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An Invitation to Belong: Opening Day at Kallah Bet



When you do something three times a day, it can become about more than just following tradition. See how we’ve transformed the practice of chanting Birkat HaMazon.

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One, Two, Three: Increase Your Congregation’s Israel Engagement



by Hope Chernak Last spring, I was privileged to participate, together with the URJ’s camp staff, in an educators’ kallah in Israel, held in partnership with several Jewish summer camps and concurrently with the Jewish Agency’s shlichim training seminar. I was fortunate to sit with talented educators—both North Americans and Israelis—who now are serving in […]

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10+ Things I Really Hate about URJ Camp



Now in my third day as faculty member at the URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA (and in my 18th year on faculty), I have been here long enough to clearly articulate all the things I hate about this place. And there are many! Waiting in line for 3-5 minutes for a meal that […]

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