URJ Head Warns Of Limits Of Tikkun Olam

Rabbi Rick Jacobs wades into debate over Jewish values at 5,000-strong Biennial.

11/10/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

He hit them right at their strongest — and weakest — point.

All the social justice issues of the day were there on the agenda at last week’s Reform Biennial — the post-Ferguson race wars, climate change, immigration reform, gender equality. Tikkun olam was everywhere at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla., as 5,000 Reform Jews gathered in a spirit of repairing the world; it is the glue that cements the faith of many Reform Jews.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs during his keynote address at URJ Biennial last week in Orlando. Courtesy of URJ

The Politics Of Additional Aid For Israel

After Bibi-Obama meeting, local Jewish House members weigh in on the road ahead.

11/09/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama Monday to “focus on how to go forward,” but some believe he should have also tried to make amends with Congressional Democrats — a view rejected by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Queens, L.I.).

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House on Monday. Getty Images

With 17 Year Old At The Helm, Gotta Have Sole Foundation Provides Shoes For Homeless

What began as a Bar Mitzvah project has grown to help children in over 42 states across the U.S.

11/09/2015 - 19:00
Web Editor

When Nicholas Lowinger was a young boy growing up in Cranston, R.I. he would tag along with his art-therapist mother when she gave art lessons to residents in nearby homeless shelters. Even as a 5-year-old Lowinger was taken by the fact that the residents, many of whom were young children his age, had torn or tattered footwear—if any at all.

Nicholas Lowinger, founder of the Gotta Have Sole Foundation, donates shoes to children in need. Courtesy Gotta Have Sole

Michele Bachmann: Bring Into Christianity As Many Nonbelievers, Including Jews, As We Can

11/09/2015 - 19:00

Washington — Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called for an intensified effort to convert Jews to Christianity.

Michele Bachmann

Disagreements Behind Them, Obama And Netanyahu Get Down To Business

11/09/2015 - 19:00

Washington – It took agreeing to set aside differences on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process for President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get down to business on other issues afflicting the region, including the threat of Islamist extremism and the rise of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama meeting at the White House, Nov. 9, 2015. JTA

Actress Zooey Deschanel Converts To Judaism

11/09/2015 - 19:00

Actress Zooey Deschanel has converted to Judaism.

Zooey Deschanel attending the premiere of “Rock The Kasbah” at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square, New York City, Oct. 19, 2015. JTA

At Massive G.A., Tiny ‘Open Hillel’ Broadens Mission

Group pushing for inclusion of critical views on Israel plans outreach beyond the campus.

11/08/2015 - 19:00
Web Director

Washington, D.C. — The General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America drew about 3,000 people on Nov. 8 for three days of reflection, schmoozing and deal-making in a Washington, D.C. hotel.

Before Open Hillel held its protest, it held a series of panel discussions at the Washington, D.C. JCC. Gili Getz

Before Meeting With Obama, Netanyahu Recommits To 2 States

11/08/2015 - 19:00

Washington — Speaking to the press with President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recommitted to a two-state outcome.

U.S President Barack Obama, right, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House

Rainbow Flags, A Pet Rat And Star Power: URJ Biennial's Top 5 Moments

5,000 attendees at Reform Judaism's largest gathering network, pray, plan.

11/05/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Four hundred and fifty rabbis walk into a conference room.

Not to mention 120 cantors, 250 congregational presidents, and thousands of others from 52 states and provinces. The Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) 2015 Biennial, the largest gathering of Reform Jews from across North America to date, has produced some memorable moments. More than 5,000 attendees packed into a sprawling hotel in Orlando, Fla., to pray, network, and get real about the challenges facing the movement.

450 rabbis attended the conference. Courtesy of Union of Reform Judaism

Non-Religious Voters Present A Puzzle For Political Parties

11/05/2015 - 19:00

Political candidates are facing a new reality: Within the Democratic coalition, there are more religiously unaffiliated voters than belong to any single religious group.

A girl, top right, sits above a campaign town hall meeting with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. RNS
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