Posts Tagged: Reform Judaism

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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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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Moral Mitzvot



by Lawrence J. Epstein I believe that the Reform Movement should adopt a binding system of moral mitzvot. Currently, individual members of the Movement decide for themselves which mitzvot to follow. A binding system of moral mitzvot would obligate Reform Jews to follow certain moral commandments independent of their personal views. Such an obligatory system […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

What Drives the Reform Movement?



During his trip to Houston earlier this month, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, sat down for an interview with Texas’s Jewish Herald-Voice. Here’s a quick excerpt: JHV: What sort of narrative, if any, drives the Reform Movement today? Jacobs: What drives our narrative is this incredible moment in Jewish history. […]

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Isaac Mayer Wise and Me



by Rabbi Yair D. Robinson Last Shabbat, we commemorated the birthday of someone very special. A red-headed and red-bearded rabbi, a scholar, a prince of the Reform Movement who is inarguably one of the most important Reform rabbis — nay, one of the most important rabbis, period — of North America. Amazingly, I’m not speaking about […]

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Jane Evans, of Blessed Memory – One of a Kind



By Rabbi Jan Katzew At the 100th anniversary celebration held in Cincinnati, OH, WRJ leaders were hosted for dinner at the American Jewish Archives. As we each were asked to introduce ourselves, I said that I felt it appropriate to bring another person into the room, someone not physically present, but whose presence helped to […]

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Galilee Diary: Civic Duty



Jews in Israel are given the opportunity to bring economic, social and political issues into the center of their religious consciousness. The moral quality of the army, social and economic disparities and deprivations, the exercise of power moderated by moral sensitivities, attitudes toward minorities, foreign workers, the stranger, tolerance and freedom of conscience – all […]

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Who Should Listen to Women’s Voices



There is an old Chinese saying: Women hold up half the sky. It would seem that, in this world view, women and their contributions to life are of equal importance to those of men. This does not really speak to the nature of those contributions, if they are the same or different efforts, but that […]

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In Defense of Having a Religion



by Steve Taub The High Holy Day season was not an easy time for my family this year, as my son passed away in January. Rosh HaShanah includes a Torah portion about a father who almost sacrifices his son; I would not have passed Abraham’s test. When my son died at the age of 17, […]

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The Rebranding of Judaism



by Rabbi Donald Kunstadt Let’s talk about branding. There’s Apple, of course. Anything with an Apple logo on it is golden! You could take a regular computer, stick an Apple logo on it, and sell it for twice the price. How about Starbucks? When traveling Europe, my wife craved the familiar brand, where she could […]

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The Chain of Tradition in Jewish Education



I share Dr. Charles Edelsberg’s trepidations about making predictions, especially when it comes to the curriculum – in its broadest sense – of Reform Jewish education. With dramatic changes underway in both the American and Jewish communal landscapes, it would seem folly to make statements for which one might be held accountable. And yet, because […]

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Jewish Education: The Future is Today



by Robin Eisenberg Dr. Charles Edelsberg’s recent blog post begins with a statement about his being “wary of invitations to predict the future.” My sense is that much that is addressed in his post is not about the future: It is now! The points raised here can be heard in our congregational committee and staff […]

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Rosh HaShanah FAQs



Imagine someone saying to you, “Your life is a do-over. You’ve got a clean slate.” That’s just what Billy Crystal says to a friend complaining of the waste of his life in the 1991 hit, City Slickers. Most of us, at one point or another, wish we could have that do-over. Well, in the Jewish […]

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