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Inside Leadership

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." Earlier this month, in celebration of Tu B’Av, the holiday of love, the Reform Movement launched our nationwide nonpartisan voting rights initiative, Nitzavim: Standing Up for Voter Protection and Participation.

We demonstrate our love by standing together with our allies at the NAACP, PICO National Network, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil...

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If you listen closely, you can hear it – the inevitable sound of the shofar saying, “The High Holidays are coming…. The High Holidays are coming…”

With these sacred days so close at hand, congregations fill with familiar refrains around tickets, seating, and the inescapable questions about how to get people – especially millennials – in the door.

Last year, I sat with a group of 14 committed millennial Jews, leaders of Makom, Temple Sholom of Chicago’s 20s and 30s group, who were asking this very question. For most of them, a...

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When people sit together and there are words of Torah between them, the Shechinah dwells among them. (Pirkei Avot 3:2)

In Jewish communities, there is little that you do as a single individual. This is certainly true for those of us who are leaders.

A sense of community, belonging, and mutual support are culturally engrained in us as Jewish people. We pray in a minyan, and we are expected to provide for those less fortunate and to rejoice with the bride and groom. This communal network is especially important for those of us who are in leadership roles.


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Over the summer, I had the good fortune to serve on the faculty of Kfar Noar, URJ Camp Harlam’s unit of rising ninth graders. One of my responsibilities was to join the campers on their trip to New York City, where we attended Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway. 

Fiddler, based on a collection of short stories by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, first debuted as a Broadway production in 1964 and has since been reproduced in countless theaters and made into a movie in 1971. Fiddler quickly became a part of the American cultural lexicon. 


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Jacqueline and Kevin Haney of North Caldwell wanted to send their children to a Jewish preschool, so last summer they took a look at the Early Childhood Center at nearby Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex in Caldwell. Because they both work traditional full-time hours, however, they were dubious that a synagogue preschool — even one with “extended hours” — would meet their needs. 

Jacqueline said that once they walked into the Agudath Israel preschool, “it...

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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.