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Inside Leadership
Group of smiling young adults on an overlook in Israel with the Jerusalem skyline behind them

Too often, returnees from Birthright Israel trips are bombarded with questions (and many times answers) about the impact of the trip on their lives:

“Are you more connected with your Jewish roots?”

“Did you meet a nice Jewish girl/boy?”

“Did you feel safe while you were over there?”

“You must want to move to Israel now!”

However well-intentioned these questions may be, they fail to provide young adults with the...

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Flowers and notes of support delivered from Muslim NYU students to Jewish NYU students

These have been difficult days for our Jewish community, as we witness waves of hate and bigotry infecting our country. Seconds after news broke about last week’s round of JCC bomb threats, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber – one of today’s most preeminent religious voices for civil rights and social justice – texted me to offer his assistance. I’m more grateful than ever to have such a profound friendship and partnership with Rev. Barber as our...

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Two puzzle pieces being held in front of bright sunlight

Whenever we undergo a major life change – getting married, having a child, moving, or starting a new job, for example – we can feel overwhelmed with all there is to learn, adapt, and incorporate into our lives.

A few months ago, I experienced three such changes all at once: having a baby, moving to a new community, and starting a new rabbinical position at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ), a century-old, 230-member community in Chester, CT. Together, my husband and I have embarked on the sacred journey of parenthood and creating a...

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Three pre-teen girls in colorful hats and feathered boas

Dimorphous expression” is the simultaneous display of contrasting emotions: for example, crying upon seeing an adorable baby or a cute puppy, screaming when a favorite performer is onstage, and at Purim, laughing in the face of tragedy.

Dimorphous expression is something at which we Jews excel.

Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews in the Persian city of Shushan. It’s unlikely this event ever took place, but it recalls too many times...

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Group of smiling teens together at Shabbat dinner

When I first startedmy job as the songleader and director of youth engagement for Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, OH, I saw the words “Director of Youth Engagement" and thought, “All right, so I’m running the youth group” – and that was a pretty terrifying notion. I’d always been told that I was great at working with nursery school-aged children and should continue working with younger kids, so as I entered into a role working with teens, I had my doubts.

And so, as a newcomer to the ...

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About Inside Leadership

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