Posts Tagged: URJ-Transition

Synagogues must reach out to ‘the uninspired’



A few months back I saw “Moneyball,” a film about a creative reimagination of Major League baseball. In my favorite scene, Billy Beane, the legendary general manager of the Oakland Athletics, challenges his scouts to think differently about the game if they are to have any chance at success. Beane declares, “Adapt or die.” These […]

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Reflections from the Road: First in an Occasional Series



A neighbor recently asked “Where is the URJ?”   “Across North America,” I answered.  Wanting a more specific response he pressed me, “No, I mean where is your office?”  “Where ever I am.”   I really wasn’t being difficult just reflecting on my new life as a “wandering Jew.” Before unpacking my books in my office in […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

At the End of Two Years



Prepared Remarks Washington, DC Biennial 2011 December 18, 2011–22 Kislev 5772 This Biennial is almost over but we’re just getting started.  What a humbling responsibility you have placed on my shoulders; what a tremendous opportunity we have to shape the Jewish future with imagination, courage and commitment.

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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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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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Rabbi Richard Jacobs’ Remarks to Board of Trustees Upon His Election as President of the URJ



Aloh Na’aleh-Let’s Get Going to that Better TomorrowURJ Presidency Acceptance Speech as delivered by Rabbi Richard Jacobson June 12, 2011–10 Sivan 5771 Letme begin by expressing my deep gratitude to Peter Weidhorn, Bob Heller,the Presidential Search Committee, and the entire Union for ReformJudaism Board of Trustees. What an exceptional honor and enormousresponsibility you have bestowed […]

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