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

In the End, There Was Love

In the End, There Was Love

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Alex Kress

jstern May 6, 2021

On June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas. They delivered the news that the Civil War had ended and General Order Number 3, declaring that all slaves

Choose Hope: The Story of Coach Ted Lasso and the Biblical Caleb

Choose Hope: The Story of Coach Ted Lasso and the Biblical Caleb

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Alex Kress

jstern April 23, 2021
In the story of the spies from this week’s parashah, we find the Torah’s version of soccer coach Ted Lasso, the protagonist of the TV series by the same name. While Joshua had a prophetic spirit that would later inscribe him in the canon, Torah says that Caleb “had merely a human spirit.” Caleb, like Ted Lasso, was just an optimistic, can-do guy.

On the Other Hand

North American Jewish Groups Denounce Antisemitic Attacks in Wake of Hostilities Between Israel and Hamas

As North American Jewish denominations representing a significant majority of American Jewry, we join together to uniformly condemn rising incidences of antisemitism. We commend the many religious, civil society and political leaders  of goodwill who have denounced these actions and are urging and implementing step to strengthen efforts to combat antisemitism and antisemitic attacks.

Reform Jewish Leader Addresses Situation in Israel

“We are deeply concerned and pained by the spiraling violence happening over the last several days in Jerusalem and beyond. At this challenging moment we want to emphasize that attacks perpetuating the cycle of violence delay peace and increase bloodshed."

RJ Blog Social Justice

What is Juneteenth to a Black Jew?

What is Juneteenth to a Black Jew? kbkaput June 10, 2021

While Juneteenth marks an incredibly important step in Black American rights, it was just that – one step. Juneteenth celebrated slavery becoming illegal, but it did not do away with racism; not even close. And yet, the history and spirit of Juneteenth make me hopeful.

The Ethical Conundrum of a Jewish and Democratic State

The Ethical Conundrum of a Jewish and Democratic State jstern June 8, 2021

When the State of Israel was established in 1948, its secular founders envisioned a nation that would be both Jewish and attuned to the values of liberal democracy. They were confident that a country with an overwhelming Jewish majority could maintain a Jewish character and ensure civic equality for all its inhabitants.

RJ Blog Jewish Life

A Jewish Ecovillage Founder on Celebrating Earth Day in Ghana

A Jewish Ecovillage Founder on Celebrating Earth Day in Ghana kbkaput April 19, 2021

Isaac Hirt-Manheimer is the founder of Unity Ecovillage in Ghana, constructed according to eco-friendly principles that he learned while attending the Green Apprenticeship training program at Kibbutz Lotan in Israel.

Announcing the Launch of the Reform Movement's 2021 Racial Justice Campaign: What You Need to Know

Announcing the Launch of the Reform Movement's 2021 Racial Justice Campaign: What You Need to Know kbkaput April 6, 2021

This campaign aims to help dismantle systemic racism by educating, inspiring, and empowering individuals and communities to look inwardly to make communal change and outwardly to win legislative change.

RJ Blog Practice

Our Needs Are a Gift of God

Our Needs Are a Gift of God jstern May 26, 2021

This prayer from Birkot HaShachar, the traditional morning blessings, reminds us to be grateful when we awake for every day.

14 Ways to Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month

14 Ways to Celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month kbkaput April 10, 2021

May is Jewish American Heritage Month, established by President George W. Bush in 2006. Learn more about the history of the month… then get to work celebrating it!

RJ Blog Learning

Make Memorial Day Count in 2021

Make Memorial Day Count in 2021 jstern May 11, 2021

On Shavuot, the holiday when we celebrate receiving the Torah marks the completion of counting

Accessing a New Kind of Jewish Community Through Introduction to Judaism Online

Accessing a New Kind of Jewish Community Through Introduction to Judaism Online urjadmin May 11, 2021

Three years before the COVID-19 pandemic response sheltered millions of people at home and drove us to do all things virtual, the URJ was crafting online communities of learners as they journeyed together through our 21 sessions of Introduction to Judaism Online.

RJ Blog Jewish Holidays

The Ethical Conundrum of a Jewish and Democratic State

The Ethical Conundrum of a Jewish and Democratic State jstern June 8, 2021

When the State of Israel was established in 1948, its secular founders envisioned a nation that would be both Jewish and attuned to the values of liberal democracy. They were confident that a country with an overwhelming Jewish majority could maintain a Jewish character and ensure civic equality for all its inhabitants.

An Appeal from an Israeli Harvard Student

An Appeal from an Israeli Harvard Student jstern June 1, 2021

When my dream came true, and I was accepted to a PhD program at Harvard, I expected to struggle at times as a Zionist and former IDF officer.

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