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Inside Leadership
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Desk with pink flowers and an open planner set on top of it

With sunshine and warmer weather, Mother’s Day is fast approaching, falling this year on May 14. Many of us will enjoy the day with and honor the important women in our lives, celebrating with colorful bouquets of flowers, sentimental cards, and maybe even breakfast in bed. But we must recognize that not all families will spend the holiday this way. Each year, more than 45,000 women and children will spend Mother’s Day in domestic violence shelters. To deliver light to these women, Women of Reform Judaism is partnering with Jewish Women...

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Teen Girls Wrapped in Flag

Israel engagement for young people, like every aspect of Jewish engagement, requires each new generation to make it their own. Although we sometimes talk about Israel’s complexity as one of the most difficult educational challenges in Jewish education, it really is part of the same package of big questions our youth are asking about Judaism’s relevance to living in a diverse, pluralistic, and globalized world. While their questions may challenge us, the act of questioning should be seen as a natural part of their development as well as the Jewish people’s self-renewal.

In his poem...

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Bendy childrens toys in primary colors with cartoony smiling faces

We have been talking a lot about “happiness” in Jewish education lately. Let’s begin by owning that the term “happiness” is challenging. In our vernacular it has a shallow and trivial connotation. As Toni Morrison, speaking to college graduates, said: “I urge you, please don’t settle for happiness. It’s not good enough.”

When we talk about “happiness” as a new thrust for Jewish education, as suggested by...

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Preschool children sitting on the floor

If you will it, it is no dream. -- Theodor Herzl

As Herzl learned, willing and dreaming were not enough to create the State of Israel. Likewise, it would take more than willing and dreaming to deepen the engagement of families with young children at Chicago Sinai Congregation in Chicago, IL.

Although our preschool operated in its own silo, separate from the congregation and its leaders, the congregation for years had sought ways to connect preschool families with the wider community. Despite our best efforts,...

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Male hand holding a white megaphone against a chalkboard

Sustained moral outrage must be our only response to the prevalence of firearm-related deaths in our country. As a community of faith, it is incumbent upon us not only to express this outrage but to present and advocate for life-saving solutions to the problem of gun violence.

Aiding the passage of Initiative 594, we did exactly that.

In 2014, Temple De Hirsch Sinai helped pass I-594 to close the background check loopholes prior to firearm purchase in Washington State. Working with 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.