Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership

I truly believe in the joy of Judaism. I love Jewish holidays (with Shabbat, Sukkot, and Purim at the top of the list), Jewish humor, and Jewish culture. I also find it joyful to teach Hebrew, cook and eat Jewish food, and do mitzvah projects.

But of course there are more somber parts of Judaism, notably Yom HaShoah,...

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It was a warm August day and I had shaving cream and chocolate syrup splattered across me. The “Messy Maccabiah” event for our middle schoolers was just ending. Seeing everyone cleaning whipped cream, maple syrup, and other condiments off themselves, I realized I was one of the lucky ones who escaped relatively unscathed. It was the silliest youth group event I had ever run! So how did it come to be?

It all began when I first became Temple Emanuel’s director of youth engagement. Within my first month, I met several of our middle schoolers...

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Imagine you are running for your life. Your survival depends on the mercy of strangers. Your home is in ruins and your neighbors have fled. There is no turning back. When you reach the crowded camp, you join thousands who ache for a life they will never know again. Exhausted aid workers explain that you’ll need to wait. You close your eyes and pray, day after day after day.

For millions of refugees, this is reality. But refugees are nameless and faceless, aren’t they? Far away from our lives...do we turn and look the other way?  

A congregation at Temple Sholom in Canada...

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Malcolm Gladwell had it right: “There comes a time when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science who wrote of similar tendencies in his classic “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” would have called this the moment of “paradigm change.” Whichever author’s construction you prefer, we are now witnessing this moment with Reform Judaism in Israel.

The very positive side of this tipping point comes from the manifold achievements of the Reform Jewish community in our beloved State of Israel. Next...

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Earlier this month, Lesley Sachs, executive director of Women of the Wall was in New York and spoke to a group of representatives from ARZA, Women of Reform Judaism, and the Women’s Rabbinic Network. I joined Rabbi Marla Feldman and other WRJ board members at this event.

While we have all celebrated the announcement in January that the Israeli Government voted on an egalitarian plaza at the Western Wall where women...

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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.