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

Letting our Land Rest: Shmitah and the Release of Expectations

Letting our Land Rest: Shmitah and the Release of Expectations

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Emily Langowitz

jemerman May 10, 2022
In this week's Torah portion, B'har, we learn God's command that the Israelites must, every seven years, engage in a practice called shmitah. And every seven sets of seven, an ultimate shmitah, called the yovel, or Jubilee, year.

Embracing Divine Imperfection

Embracing Divine Imperfection

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Ellen Nemhauser

jemerman May 3, 2022
On the way home from school one day, my then five-year-old son asked me, "Mom, if nobody's perfect and all people are made in the image of God, doesn't that mean that God isn't perfect?" His question then, and even now, is not easy to answer.

On the Other Hand

Reform Jewish Movement Launches National Voter Mobilization Campaign Ahead of 2022 Elections

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) today launched its 2022 Every Voice, Every Vote campaign, a nonpartisan initiative to strengthen democracy by encouraging and protecting voter participation.

Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Massacre in Buffalo

"The pain of today’s massacre in Buffalo will endure among the racist horrors in American history. We pray for the loved ones of those murdered, for the city to find healing, and for our nation to awaken fully to the need to address the racism that continues to plague us."

RJ Blog Social Justice

Q&A with Chinese Jewish Advocate and Educator Amy Albertson

Q&A with Chinese Jewish Advocate and Educator Amy Albertson jemerman May 4, 2022

Amy Albertson (she/her), 30, is a Chinese Jewish advocate and online educator living in Northern California. She works as a social media consultant for Jewish organizations.

Holy Sparks: Celebrating 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate

Holy Sparks: Celebrating 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate jemerman April 28, 2022

On June 3, 1972, Rabbi Sally Priesand was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as the first woman rabbi in North America. To celebrate this milestone in Jewish and American history, HUC's Dr. Bernard Heller Museum in New York partnered with The Braid's Story Archive of Women Rabbis in Los Angeles to create the exhibition "Holy Sparks," presenting 24 ground-breaking women rabbis who were "firsts" in their time.

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 URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual”

The URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual” kbkaput August 15, 2021

As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals.

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.

RJ Blog Learning

Combatting Loneliness, Poverty, and Trauma in the Lives of Holocaust Survivors

Combatting Loneliness, Poverty, and Trauma in the Lives of Holocaust Survivors jemerman April 25, 2022

Yom HaShoah is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day and occurs on the 27 th of the month of Nisan. It is a day to commemorate those who perished during the Holocaust and listen to survivors tell their stories. However, as the survivor population ages, many are needing more assistance.

Celebrating Mimouna and Creating Traditions with Gal Andres

Celebrating Mimouna and Creating Traditions with Gal Andres jemerman April 11, 2022

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Mimouna, celebrated by Moroccan Jews at the end of Passover, we sat down with Gal Andres (she/her/hers), 33, who shared her favorite Mimouna celebrations and traditions.

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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