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Inside Leadership

In recent years, the URJ has encouraged Reform congregations to develop programs and events to educate congregants on disability-related issues pertaining to their synagogues in order to become welcoming congregations. But at least one congregation – my synagogue, Temple Sinai in Oakland, CA – needed no encouragement.

Named one of the URJ’s 27 Exemplar Congregations, Temple Sinai has been promoting disability awareness and inclusion long before the concept gained...

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I’ll be headed to Baltimore later this week to attend the Summit on Jewish Teens. Now in its second year, the Summit brings together funders, teens, and representatives from a wide variety of Jewish organizations that care deeply about Jewish education and engaging Jewish teens. The program itself is incredibly thought-provoking, but the opportunity to build connections to others who care about engaging our young people is, in my opinion, even more important.

The number of registrants who will be representing the Reform Movement at the Summit is notable, a reflection of the...

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Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

New York, NY; February 9, 2016 - The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is launching a new high-level fellowship to strengthen its engagement with millennials. The first Fellow will be Evan Traylor, 21, of Edmond, Oklahoma. Traylor, who will graduate from the University of Kansas in May, will work alongside URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and leaders of the Reform Movement to develop a toolkit for engaging millennials as partners in...

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Within any synagogue community, it’s common to find many sub-communities. Throughout the year, the entire community gathers together for holidays, celebrations, and the like, but it’s equally common to find sub-communities meeting alone for sisterhood game nights, men’s club guest speakers, youth group outings, adult education classes, and so on. Jewish communities have fallen into a pattern of programming that makes each group happy – but this pattern has created a culture of exclusion rather than inclusion.

Rather than looking at what’s already happening within the community...

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At the end of services on a recent Shabbat, a member of City Shul, a new downtown synagogue in Toronto, rises to the podium to announce upcoming events for the week. “The men’s club will be meeting as usual,” he says, “and as you all know, the men’s club is open to anyone who identifies as a man.”

Little gestures like this, which demonstrate an openness to Jews of all types, says City Shul Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, may explain why Reform congregations like hers are attracting a new and diverse following in Canada’s most populous Jewish city – bucking a trend of...

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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.