Posts Tagged: Union for Reform Judaism
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: A Renaissance Woman Remembered



Jane Evans wasn’t a rabbi.  Nonetheless, she was quite a force in Reform Judaism, perhaps even its matriarch.  Beginning in 1933, and for the next 43 years, she was the executive director of what is now the Women of Reform Judaism.  From 1976 to 1979 she served as administrator of the Union’s building at 838 […]

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Movement Greetings for Reform Israel Shabbat



On behalf of all the branches of our American Reform Movement, Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom. Tonight we, as a movement, celebrate Israel’s 64th Birthday. We might wonder, to paraphrase the McCartney song we sang decades ago, “Does Israel still need me when she’s 64?” The truth is we, the American Jewish community, our Movement, […]

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Reforming Reform: 2. The ‘Platform,’ ‘Principles,’ and Cafeteria Judaism



As I wrote in my first post, the question of the reasons for the commandments, ta’amei hamitzvot, has been a central issue in the historical evolution of Judaism from the middle ages till today. In the 19th century, Reform, influenced by the European Age of Reason, took up the idea that if a ritual mitzvah […]

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Why I Love Being a Reform Jew



by Rabbi Henry Jay Karp In my first installment in this series, I spoke about the merger discussions between our congregation and the Tri City Jewish Center.  At that time I stated that since I addressed institutional reasons for why the resulting congregation should affiliate with the Reform movement in my answers to the Merger […]

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Chairman’s Address to the URJ Biennial



by Stephen Sacks Thank you Eric and thank you all for the great honor you have bestowed on me. I stand here today as a member of three different Reform congregations in North America.  Temple Shalom of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Temple Sinai of Washington, D.C., and our third congregation — the one i want to […]

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A transition concludes, transformation begins…



We are in the midst of the Jacob stories in our Torah readings. Jacob’s life is marked by a series of transitions: birth, taking of the birthright and blessing from Esau, the journey to live with Laban, marriage to Leah and Rachel, and finally the return to his homeland. Each one of these transitions is […]

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Priority Number One: The Campaign for Youth Engagement



by Rabbi Jonah PesnerIn less than 48 hours, the sound of the shofar will awaken us to renewal.  As the Union for Reform Judaism prepares to pass the mantle of leadership from Rabbi Eric Yoffie to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the shofar calls us to honor the past by building for the future. That is why […]

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Synagogue and Federation Partnerships – A Progress Report



by Larry Kaufman The resumption of religious school and the advent of the High Holy Days make this shul-shopping season at synagogues everywhere. But the congregational selection process was facilitated this year for potential joiners in the Springfield, MA area, thanks to a joint get-acquainted open house organized for the community with the help and […]

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A New Year, A New Vision



by Rabbi Jonah PesnerDirector, Presidential Transition, URJFounding Director, Just Congregations, URJ As I write this update on the status of the URJ Presidential Transition, the summer is nearing its end.  Our incredible Reform Movement camps have ended their successful seasons, our young people have returned from NFTY in Israel, and our high school leaders are […]

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Hit the Ground Learning



A professor at Harvard who runs a seminar for new university presidents teaches her high-powered students something they are not likely to figure out on their own.  She tells them that instead of hitting the ground running, they should “hit the ground learning.”  While I’m hardly a university president, still I’ve turned her advice into […]

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The Reform Movement Goes to Washington!



by Rabbi Elliott Kleinman Synagogues are the center of Jewish life in North America.  They are vibrant, dynamic kehillot that form the foundation for Jewish living, learning and celebration. For five days in December, however, when the Union for Reform Judaism’s Biennial Convention kicks off, the center of Reform Jewish life in North America will […]

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Israel, Up Close and Personal



Shortly after arriving in Israel a few weeks back, I had the privilege of welcoming a few busloads of our teens to Jerusalem. Blindfolded, they stepped off their buses holding hands, moving slowly towards the edge of the Haas Promenade that overlooks the Temple Mount in the center of Jerusalem, a spot some have called […]

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