This photo project is just one small part of the URJ’s July online theme, which will focus on and highlight the many opportunities for Reform Jewish summer youth experiences. Share your memories and we’ll feature you in our online Facebook album!
on May 4, 2012
Before we had left, our colleagues tossed us bits and pieces of what to expect: “Just wait until you have to drag someone out of a ‘burning’ building!” and “Oooh, you’ll get to walk through fire!” As intriguing as those things sounded, no one really could have prepared me for what became an eye-opening, thought-provoking, and unforgettable journey.
on May 3, 2012
We’ve been talking about the Campaign for Youth Engagement since the URJ’s 71st Biennial Convention last December. In the four and a half months since, we’re been working on hammering out the details of this exciting and important campaign, and we want to be sure we’re communicating those details effectively along the way.
on April 27, 2012
In this week’s Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the URJ’s Senior Vice President, lays out the ideas behind the Reform Movement’s new Campaign for Youth Engagement, a major effort to bring young Jews (back) into the fold.
on April 5, 2012
My Haggadah is a musical one. The themes of Pesach inspire so many of my favorite Israeli musicians, and every year another musical Midrash is added to my Pesach collection. This music is one of the most precious gifts that Israeli life and culture contribute to the Jewish tradition. Our journey from Egypt to Israel is more than a moment in our history or our memory. It is an ever evolving journey—from slavery to sovereignty, from powerlessness to powerful. The Haggadah is an invitation to an open, cross generational conversation about Jewish values, faith, resilience and justice.
I’d been so impressed with the way they reacted to situations with Zoe that I once commented on it and asked, “Where did you learn to be such wonderful parents?” Their response was a surprise. Both Jeremy and Melissa said, “We learned it at camp. Being counselors at camp was our training ground.”
on April 3, 2012
For me, in the years since graduation, the feeling that something was missing has been all too familiar. In fact, it wasn’t until last summer when I returned to URJ Camp Harlam and subsequently began a position with NFTY and the URJ here in New York that I realized a community to call my own was the omitted piece. I don’t regularly attend Shabbat services, because for me Judaism is more about the community. And I am not alone – Jewish organizations are recognizing that, for young adults, it’s about being together and being social with other young Jews and not necessarily just about being a welcomed member of the synagogue.
on February 14, 2012
My father always told me you can’t get something for nothing as a way to teach me to work hard for what I want. Now that I’m a parent, I can perhaps make the argument that maybe he wasn’t always right. My children and I recently received, for nothing, a wonderful book called Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman. Every month we excitedly receive a shipment of a book or music album from PJ Library. So this is the part where Dad is possibly wrong, since every book and CD is free.
on February 13, 2012
As a parent of a rising ninth grader and a graduating high school senior, dinner conversation is often peppered with talk of what needs to be done for exams, who got into which college and, of course, who needs to go where and when. Interestingly, we just as often talk about summer plans. OK, I admit my professional choices may have something to do with that, but I also think there are other motivations at play.
on December 23, 2011
Youth engagement was a major initiative presented at the 71st biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism, held Dec. 14-18, in Washington. The statistics of youth engagement are alarming – the URJ’s youth movement, National Federation of Temple Youth, has lost thousands of members and participants over the last few years, according to reports. To address the problem, the URJ has decided to act swiftly and with strength and confidence.
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