Reform Movement

A Tougher Reform Road To Conversion

Stephen Wise’s revamped program signals new rigor for ‘transformative’ step.

05/20/2015
Staff Writer

When Johanna Rauth began looking for a synagogue where she could go through the process of converting to Judaism, one program stood out. Instead of taking about 12 months to complete, the program took 18. Instead of requiring an average of 16 weeks of classes, the program required 30. She signed up.

Conversion student Melissa Hume and Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discuss prayers for Shabbat. Michael Datikash/JW

Reform Movement Joins ‘Klinghoffer’ Protest

10/02/2014
Staff Writer

The Reform movement today joined the chorus of Jewish organizations protesting an upcoming Metropolitan Opera production widely considered anti-Semitic.

A rally protesting the Met Opera's "The Death of Klinghoffer" drew about 1,500-2,000 people. Michael Datikash/JW

Israeli MK Apologizes, Says Comments On Reform ‘Misinterpreted’

02/06/2014

JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmaker David Rotem apologized for comments attributed to him that members of the Reform movement are not Jewish, saying his words were “misinterpreted.”

In A First, Reform Rabbis On Israel's Payroll

01/03/2014

Israeli government money was transferred for the first time to the Reform Movement in Israel to pay the salaries of four community Reform rabbis.

The transfer of the more than $86,000 on Wednesday comes 18 months after Israel’s Supreme Court approved an arrangement to enable non-Orthodox rabbis who lead congregations to receive state salaries like their Orthodox counterparts.

Rabbi Miri Gold: Sued Israeli government for funding access.

The List: Biggest Inclusion Plays And Players Of 2013

As we start the New Year, it’s important to look back on what was accomplished for inclusion of Jews with disabilities this past year. We planted the seeds for future progress. Most of the work focused on “setting the table” for inclusion: raising awareness, creating critical policies and standards, and developing and conducting training for professionals. Hopefully, 2014 will be the year of implementation. Meanwhile, here are the top plays and players of 2013.

Inclusion leaders, from left: Shelley Cohen, Donn Weinberg and Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi. Photo courtesy Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

An Investment In Souls

Rabbi David Ellenson remembers the legendary philanthropist whose eye was trained on the future.

12/24/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Many will surely speak of Edgar Bronfman and his legacy — and deservedly so. I will leave it to others to describe his extraordinarily privileged background, his many achievements in the realm of business and commerce, and his manifold philanthropic works. Each area of his exceptional life is worthy of a full-scale treatise, and I have no doubt that a complete academic biography of the man will soon emerge — the temptation for an academic or graduate student to describe the history of Jewish life in our day through an exploration of this one man’s life is surely irresistible.

Edgar Bronfman: Hailed for candor, humor and curiosity.

Westchester Rabbi Aaron Panken Elected President Of Hebrew Union College

08/01/2013

Rabbi Aaron Panken was elected president of The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform movement’s rabbinical school.

Rabbi Aaron Pankin, a resident of Mamaroneck, will succeed Rabbi David Ellenson in running four HUC campuses.

Child Struck By Lightning At URJ Summer Camp Remains Critical

06/30/2013

Ethan Kadish, the only one of three campers still hospitalized after being struck by lightning last week at a Jewish camp in Indiana, remains in critical but stable condition.

The 12-year-old from Cincinnati requires help with his breathing and needs his chest cleared, according to his family, who set up a website, Caringbridge.org/visit/ethankadish, to provide updates on his condition.

“Ethan continues to work with his medical team on recovery,” the Kadish family wrote. “We want to let all of you know that his recovery is going to take time.”

From Crawling Under Tables To "Youth Person Of Honor:" How Did We Get Here?

It's all too familiar. It's 5 on a Tuesday afternoon. A room full of fidgety fourth graders. A teacher going around the room, student by student, asking each one to practice reading Hebrew. And to make it harder, there is one student in perpetual motion who disrupts everything, by climbing out of his chair and crawling under the desks. Fast forward seven years.

Lisa Friedman

Why We Still Wait For The Messianic Times

03/18/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Ani Maamin – I believe with perfect faith in the coming of a messianic era. In Reform ideology, we don’t necessarily wait for an individual Messiah, but we do encourage people to do all they can to create a better world, and to work towards a time when all will be peaceful, loving, and safe. Among Jews of various denominations, we have differing opinions about what will bring the Messiah. Some believe that, once every eligible Jew has observed certain mitzvot (like laying tefillin or lighting Shabbat candles), the Messiah will finally arrive. Others believe that, once things get particularly bad, the Messiah will surely come. I have a bit of a different idea.

Rabbi Marci Bellows
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