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Inside Leadership
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North American board members in Israel
View of empty sanctuary pews from pulpit with Bible on it
A collection of hands holding different colored puzzle pieces

In recent weeks, our community has been shaken repeatedly by bomb threats at Jewish community centers across the country, as well as by hate-fueled acts of vandalism and violence.   At Temple Adath B’nai Israel in Evansville, Indiana, a bullet was shot through a window while the building was closed. In Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia, hundreds of stones were toppled, not only desecrating the final...

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The Scheidt Seminar not only presents a remarkable number of quality ideas, but also conveys the sacred and volunteer nature of this task we are undertaking. I met people from many walks of life, with many different skill sets, and, I believe, made inroads into true friendships.

2017 participant

Last month, at the first of this year’s two URJ Scheidt Seminars, I met 54 presidents and presidents-elect from our congregations. Representing Reform communities across North America from Ontario to Hawaii and from the largest...

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anti-Semitic graffiti

With bomb threats and acts of vandalism aimed at Jewish institutions dominating the headlines, congregational leaders are evaluating their synagogues’ safety and security procedures. To support this critically important effort, check out these resources available to your congregation.

  1. One of the most important resources for all Jewish organizations is the Secure Community Network (SCN), a non-profit organization supporting safety and security preparation for the American Jewish community. Led by the Conference of Presidents of Major American...
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Two girls on the bank of a pond

I never went to summer camp, unless you count the rec program on the playground in Fords, New Jersey, where I grew up. My ability to make potholders on a loom with loops was developed on that playground, where counselors supervised simple games and activities all day, except when we went home to have lunch.

These days, the annual retreat held by my congregation, Beth Haverim Shir Shalom (BHSS) in Mahwah, NJ, fills the I-didn’t-go-to-camp void in my Jewish experience. Held at URJ Camp Harlam, a two-hour...

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Large group of happy NFTY teens posing in front of the stage where a band is playing

Every week, we open our Torah and read the words written thousands ago. Think of the upheaval, the wars, the change that those words have witnessed.

Our Torah portions at this time of year center on the Jews' exodus from Egypt. We read of a dictator bent on crushing a minority people; of persecution, both overt and less obvious; and of the unassuming hero, Moses, a figure singled out by God, not for supernatural strength or overwhelming confidence, but for humility and wisdom.

In these times of change, we look to Moses, as our people have for so long, and turn our kids in...

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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.