Reform Movement

Child Struck By Lightning At URJ Summer Camp Remains Critical

06/29/2013 - 20:00

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,, 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

03/17/2013 - 20:00
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

Beyond Burial

The problem of prayerbooks: awash in holy books, synagogues ponder how to collectively, creatively dispose of old friends.
02/14/2013 - 19:00

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

02/06/2013 - 19:00
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

03/05/2012 - 19:00
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

07/28/2011 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist
Extra! Extra! This week’s article comes to you directly from the Union for Reform Judaism’s Crane Lake Camp (, 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.
04/04/2011 - 20:00
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

01/11/2011 - 19:00

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.

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