In just a couple of days, nearly five thousand Reform Jews will descend upon the San Diego Convention Center for the 72nd Union of Reform Judaism Biennial Convention. Despite that impressive number, this experience has not been fully inclusive of those with disabilities.
I always assumed I would raise my children as Reform Jews, just as I had been raised. Actually, when I was growing up, I considered our family "observant Reform." We went to temple every Shabbat and holiday. My father was president of our congregation; my mother chaired innumerable committees and my sister and I served as youth group presidents. We were proud Jews, but liberal ones. Few people in our synagogue (ourselves included) kept kosher or wore kippot. In college, I was one of the few Hillel regulars who needed to learn the Birkat Hamazon. Some years after college, when my husband and I married, we joined a Reform congregation, fully expecting our own new family to follow a similar path.
“Well, it looks like the voluntary evacuations just became mandatory,” I said to the room of Adult Ed students. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to show a film, but it seemed that the lack of success was meant to be – it enabled us to get a head start on the preparations for the approaching hurricane. As a congregation on the South Shore of Long Island, we were quite concerned about the storm. Many of our congregants lived within the evacuated area south of Merrick Road, and the dire warnings had us all frightened.
There are so many amazing aspects to being a rabbi. It is a privilege to join people during their most special lifecycle moments (those of joy and of sorrow), to help draw them closer to our heritage and to the divine, and to mark the Jewish year with meaningful ritual. I truly love it, and my life is enriched because of being a rabbi. I have never once regretted taking part in this holy work, except…
President Obama told a gathering of Reform Jewry not to let anyone challenge his record of support for Israel, which he said was "unprecedented."
"No U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel's security than ours -- none," he said in an address Friday afternoon to more than 5,000 people at the biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism. "Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. It is a fact."
The crowd at a hotel in the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington gave him a standing ovation.
Ever since her fierce polemic against the school reform movement, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” which came out last year, Diane Ravitch has become a ubiquitous voice in the raging education debate. It is not only because her writing is so cogent and ostensibly fact-driven, but also because her striking transformation—from one-time school reform champion, to sudden critic—that she has turned many heads.
Ever since her fierce polemic against the school reform movement, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” which came out last year, Diane Ravitch has become an ubiquitous voice in the raging education debate. It is not only because her writing is so cogent and ostensibly fact-driven, but also because her striking transformation—from one-time school reform champion, to sudden critic—that she has turned many heads.
President Obama will address the Reform movement's biennial.
The Union for Reform Judaism said Thursday that Obama would address the Dec. 14-18 policymaking conference at a location in the greater Washington area, and the White House confirmed that the speech would take place.
Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement's Religious Action Center, has advised Obama's White House on a number of issues, particularly those related to the intersection of faith and public policy.