Congregations are part family, part friendship group. They are microcosms of the Jewish world, a combination of what sociologist Daniel Elazar called "kinship and consent."
Families have biological boundaries that carry with them an innate sense of connectedness. At the recent URJ Biennial, I met the daughter of a cousin of mine whom I have known about for years but had never actually met before. There is an instant sense of "we belong to one another" that comes with family.
In their best moments, congregations offer that innate...Read More
In the Western Galilee where I live in northern Israel, the population is diverse – about half is Jewish with the other half a combination of Muslim, Christian, and Druze. Although many of us live in different cities and villages according to faith or culture, some of our communities are mixed, so we share many of the same entertainment venues, businesses, and institutions. We live and work together and must afford one another respect and understanding.
Located here is also a small European Christian Zionist village called Nes Ammim, comprising...Read More
Parent orientation is an emotional time at any school, especially for parents whose children are entering school for the first time. At Jewish early childhood centers, though, it’s not only about the excitement and nerves surrounding the first day of classes. For many of these parents, it’s also their first foray into Jewish institutional life as a family.
I began my role as director of the early childhood center at Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) on the first day of school last year. In addition to discovering where supplies were...Read More
Playing a supporting role in a major human rights advocacy campaign is both gratifying and humbling. As we mark Transgender Awareness Week, I applaud the recent commitment that my fellow 1.5 million Reform Jews have made to the full equality, inclusion, and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions by overwhelmingly supporting a a groundbreaking movement-wide resolution on the rights of transgender and gender...Read More
On Nov. 5, delegates to the Union for Reform Judaism’s 73rd Biennial convention unanimously adopted a resolution on the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. It was a moment of great pride and celebration, tempered by the knowledge that just two days earlier — and reflecting how much work remains to be done to ensure full inclusion and equality for the LGBT community nationwide — Houston voters overturned an ordinance that had established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people.
The URJ resolution...Read More
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.