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Inside Leadership

Since my congregation became part of the pilot cohort of the Reform Movement’s B’nai Mitzvah Revolution in 2012, our goal has been to make b’nai mitzvah more meaningful. As it turns out, though, this is no simple task.

Along with 12 other congregations, URJ staff, and HUC-JIR professionals, our congregation has learned, shared resources, experimented, and explored ways to revolutionize the b’nai mitzvah experience. We’ve rewritten curriculum, altered programs, changed expectations, deepened family involvement, and toyed...

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Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA, was among the first 13 congregations selected from throughout North America to learn, question, share resources, and develop new and innovative models as part of the URJ’s B’nai Mitzvah Revolution. We began our journey in this pilot cohort by asking our eighth grade families one question: What could we have done to better prepare your family for your child’s bar or bat mitzvah?


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The URJ’s Leadership Institute presents a Scholar Series on Leadership, in which three experts each lead a virtual discussion about values-based leadership. The series began with Harry Kraemer’s session about becoming a values-based leader. The second scholar is Dr. Erica Brown. Here, she offers a sneak peek into her session.

In my office is a decorative picture with the words “Become a possibilitarean.” The idea that we “dwell in possibility,” as...

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There’s a program we created at URJ Kutz Camp titled, "What I Go to the Wall For." It gives members of our community the opportunity to think about the issues and values that are most important to them and the ideals on which they will not waiver. Participants’ meaningful and diverse responses have included such important topics as marriage equality, economic justice, gun violence prevention, women’s rights, interreligious understanding, family...

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At Hillel Institute in St. Louis, MO, I ushered in Shabbat surrounded by 60 college students and Hillel professionals as we passionately sang “Ahavat Olam” to the tune of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”; at the same time, hundreds of other people welcomed Shabbat through prayer, song, yoga, poetry, and other means.

At Metro Minyan in Washington D.C., I joined with more...

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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.