RJ Blog

L’hitraot, for Now...

After four years of bringing you a new episode nearly every week, this podcast is taking a little break. Listen to this episode to learn more about our hiatus and where to find us in the meantime.

The Antidote to Kvetching

Most of us today aren’t tasked with wandering through the desert, like the ancient Israelites were... but we still find plenty to kvetch about! What if, instead of focusing on small annoyances, we turned to community-building and togetherness? This episode first aired in May 2018.

URJ Youth

The Oneness of Diversity

The Oneness of Diversity

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin

jemerman August 1, 2022
This week's Torah portion, va-et'chanan, can give us a helpful frame as we consider what it means to truly recognize the diversity we have in our community.

Correcting is Respecting

Correcting is Respecting

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin

sdolgov July 25, 2022
This week's Torah portion asks us to consider respect. Is it more respectful to allow someone to say something inaccurate, or is it more respectful to correct them?

On the Other Hand

Reform Jewish Movement Statement on the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Declaration of Israel as an Apartheid State

The Reform Jewish Movement strongly condemns Presbyterian Church (USA)'s declaration falsely charging that Israel is an apartheid state, with the passage of Amendment INT-02 at its recent General Assembly.

Reform Movement Leaders Respond to Tragic Gun Massacre in Highland Park

We mourn the six lives taken today in Highland Park, IL and pray for all those injured, beloved members of our Reform Jewish community among them. On this day celebrating American independence, it is clear that Americans’ ability to live independent of the fear of gun violence is ever more elusive. With each massacre, the freedom to gather, pray, shop, learn, and simply be, free from fear of gun violence, is taken away.

RJ Blog Social Justice

The Blessings of Adult Education: Far More than Knowledge

The Blessings of Adult Education: Far More than Knowledge sdolgov August 9, 2022

Lifelong learning, however, can be easier said than done. For many, as they enter adulthood, with its competing demands and obligations, setting aside time for learning – and especially for Jewish learning – can be challenging indeed.

One of the Greatest Love Stories of My Life

One of the Greatest Love Stories of My Life sdolgov August 9, 2022

On this Tu B’Av, may we all seek out those people who are on our team through despair and delight, who can forgive and seek forgiveness, who see us for who we truly are and support us on the journey to becoming whoever we will someday be. And if your Valentine’s Day candy stash has run out, send those you love a note of sweetness and gratitude instead. Happy Tu B’Av!

RJ Blog Jewish Life

Two Out of Two

Two Out of Two jemerman February 15, 2022

As a graduate of both Tougaloo College and Jackson State University, the recent bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are personal to me. Since January 2022, over a dozen HBCUs have received bomb threats; several of those threats were received on the first day of Black history month. The continuous attacks on institutions of higher learning; places of worship and individual attacks are a direct threat to our everyday existence.

How to Make Your First Tu BiShvat Seder Meaningful and Fun

How to Make Your First Tu BiShvat Seder Meaningful and Fun kbkaput January 3, 2022

As I thought about what would be involved if we did our own Tu BiShvat seder, it seemed interesting and fun. Tasting lots of fruits? Marking a time to appreciate, mindfully and respectfully, trees and the earth? Drinking wines and grape juices? Yes, please.

RJ Blog Practice

The Blessings of Adult Education: Far More than Knowledge

The Blessings of Adult Education: Far More than Knowledge sdolgov August 9, 2022

Lifelong learning, however, can be easier said than done. For many, as they enter adulthood, with its competing demands and obligations, setting aside time for learning – and especially for Jewish learning – can be challenging indeed.

Clinging to the Blessings of Jewish Education

Clinging to the Blessings of Jewish Education jemerman August 1, 2022

For the past two years, it has felt like much of what we have valued was sinking and all we could do was watch and grieve. But if we really look back, we realize that there is so much we've learned.

RJ Blog Learning

This Tishah B'Av, Act as if There Was No God

This Tishah B'Av, Act as if There Was No God jemerman August 2, 2022

Tishah B'Av is a day of mourning, commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples. In recent years, it's also a day to mourn other tragedies that have darkened Jewish history - the Romans putting down the Bar Kochba revolt, mass murders of Jewish communities during the Crusades, expulsions from England, France, and Spain in the Middle Ages, and the Holocaust.

Favorite Jewish Teachings from Leaders of Color

Favorite Jewish Teachings from Leaders of Color jemerman June 2, 2022

As Shavuot approaches and we celebrate the Giving of the Torah, I have been spending some time reflecting on some of my favorite teachings from Jewish sacred literature, both those that resonate with me, and those that feel most important or most timely.

RJ Blog Jewish Holidays

Shabbat Message: A Galvanizing Visit to Israel That Fills Me With Encouragement

Shabbat Message: A Galvanizing Visit to Israel That Fills Me With Encouragement urjadmin March 4, 2022

In meetings with the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, and Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, we discussed the crisis in Ukraine, the future of the Kotel, ensuring more funding and rights for non-Orthodox Jews, combatting racism, and stopping extremist violence against Palestinians, in addition to other pressing issues.

Why Israel’s Next Government Gives Me Hope

Why Israel’s Next Government Gives Me Hope jstern June 15, 2021

On Sunday, Israel’s Knesset narrowly voted in Israel’s 36th government with Naftali Bennett as the nation’s 13th prime minister, unseating the incumbant Benjamin Netanyahu.

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