Reform Movement

Beyond Burial

The problem of prayerbooks: awash in holy books, synagogues ponder how to collectively, creatively dispose of old friends.

02/15/2013

After years of watching synagogue members die or move away, the Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie made the difficult decision to downsize.

Synagogues that upgrade to newer editions of prayer books often have to bury the old ones. Adam Jones/Creative Commons

Reform Movement Promotes Young Leadership

02/07/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

I  read Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg’s Opinion piece, “Forever Young? Community Relegates Adults to ‘Kids’ Table” (Feb. 1) and was intrigued by her assessment that organizations “must find ways to engage and cultivate genuine new leadership” rather than relegating young leaders to the proverbial “kids’ table.” I couldn’t agree more, which is why I felt inspired to share the very positive experiences I’ve been fortunate to have as a young lay leader in the Reform Movement.

Hungary For Judaism

03/06/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The Torah’s words were familiar: “V’asu Li mikdash, v’shachanti b’tocham.” And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. This verse from Exodus 25:8 took on entirely new meaning as I sat, Shabbat morning, in a Reform service in Budapest, Hungary. I just returned from a powerful Rabbinic Mission with 28 other rabbis, sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows.

Summertime And The Camping Is Jewish

07/29/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist
Extra! Extra! This week’s article comes to you directly from the Union for Reform Judaism’s Crane Lake Camp (http://cranelake.urjcamps.org/), in West Stockbridge, MA!
 
Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

New Reform Head Walking Pro-Israel Tightrope

URJ President-designate Rabbi Rick Jacobs embraces J Street goals,
not necessarily all its actions.

04/05/2011
Staff Writer

Rabbi Richard Jacobs of Scarsdale, poised to become the next leader of the Reform movement, recalled this week taking part in an anti-government protest in Jerusalem last July sponsored by the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs with IDF soldiers at Westchester Reform Temple in March 2010.

An Apology For An Offensive Blog

I have great admiration and respect for my colleague, Jewish Week Associate Editor Jonathan Mark, and for his writing, as I have for the important value of journalistic freedom of expression.

But a blog Jonathan wrote Feb. 23 and posted on our site that, in part, spoke unfavorably about Reform rabbis went beyond the boundaries of spirited debate, in my opinion, and I apologize for it having appeared.

It was removed from our web site.

In Defending Israel, Mainstream U.S. Jewish Groups Critique It

01/12/2011
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Enmeshed in the battle against Israel’s delegitimization, mainstream American Jewish organizations are embracing a strategy of acknowledging what’s wrong about Israel as a way of getting across what’s right about the nation.

Jewish Youth Movements Launch Anti-Bullying Campaign

12/21/2010

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- Three international Jewish youth movements have launched a campaign to combat homophobia.

The Coalition of Jewish Teen Leaders, comprised of the presidents of B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, the Reform movement’s National Federation of Temple Youth and the Conservative movement’s United Synagogue Youth, has joined a campaign started by Keshet, a national organization working for GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) inclusion in Jewish life.

Reassessing Reform

11/30/2010

How much reform can even the Reform movement withstand?

Last month, the rabbinic arm of America’s largest Jewish denomination published an essay anthology that seems to call for a return to kashrut.

Now its Reform Think Tank is taking a hard look at where the movement is and where it’s going.

“Five years from now, congregations won’t look like they do today,” said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the longtime president of the Union for Reform Judaism, told JTA.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, left, is leading a think tank in which “everything’s on the table.”

Liberal Legislative Outlook Is ‘Daunting’

11/09/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

With more than 60 House seats and 650 state legislature seats changing hands and decades-long office holders of all political stripes losing their jobs, we’re still coming to grips with what happened in last week’s congressional midterm elections, let alone what it means for the future.

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