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Inside Leadership
Big room crowded with people dancing

December 5th is the birthday of Walt Disney, Strom Thurmond, and rapper Dr. Drè, as well as National Day of the Ninja.  December 7th, of course, is “a date which will live in infamy.”  But what of December 6th?  It is Constitution Day in Spain, and the birthday of Australian soccer star Tim Cahill, but other than that, December 6th has had little claim to fame.

Until now.

That ignominy will end...

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Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner at the podium

The deeply polarizing 2016 election elevated rifts in our social fabric, underscored the pain of those who feel excluded from our evolving economy and culture, and emphasized a persistent distrust and scapegoating of “the other.” Throughout the campaign, we heard violent, exclusionary, and racist rhetoric in ways not seen in mainstream politics in a generation. We witnessed thinly veiled allusions to centuries-old anti-Semitic propaganda, hate crimes against Muslims, and deplorable actions and threats against marginalized populations.

Our tradition’s ageless and enduring call of...

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Tealights in the shape of a heart in a dark room

Gun violence in America has become consistent, reliable news. Breaking news alerts draw our attention to shootings at schools, movie theaters, night clubs, and in the middle of our streets. We follow social media, watching and waiting for the number of dead and injured to stop climbing. Our minds turn to the people we know, who live in the area of the shooting, and we reach out, praying that we receive a response, that no one we know was hurt. Then, we pray for those we do not know, those whose lives were taken or forever changed by someone with a gun.

The four-year anniversary of...

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Fully lighted menorah with red candles

Hanukkah may seem far off – but it isn’t too early for your congregation, sisterhood, or brotherhood to start planning a Hanukkah fundraiser.

A Hanukkah bazaar is a great fundraiser; it also gets your congregants thinking about their Hanukkah shopping and can give an early boost to your congregation’s Judaica shop holiday sales figures (if you have one). Lastly, it’s a wonderful opportunity to involve your temple family. Use a Hanukkah bazaar as your kickoff to the holiday!

Tips for Fundraising


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After the first day of religious school classes at Monmouth Reform Temple this year, I sat with key lay leaders to recap the day. As we spoke, we noticed three teachers in their mid-20s gathered around a table, talking and laughing as they did their own recap of the first day of school. Watching them filled me with immense pride. We had originally planned to hire two teachers for our Mitzvah Academy program: one for 7th grade and one for 8-9th grades, but...

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About Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership, the blog at, is a source for Reform Jewish leaders to get the latest news and though-provoking articles about Jewish communal life.