Liberal Leaders Press Case On Kotel Compromise

Deadline nears on pluralistic prayer at Western Wall.

05/17/2016 - 17:07
Staff Writer

With less than 10 days remaining of the 60-day review of the historic Western Wall compromise, religious leaders here are voicing concerns about potential changes to the plan.

URJ’s Rabbi Rick Jacobs reportedly will travel to Israel with other liberal leaders to lobby for the prayer compromise.

Amid Celebration, Anxiety Remains For Transgender Reform Jews

URJ’s far-reaching equality move hailed, but ‘prejudices still exist.’

11/17/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Ari Lev Fornari, a rabbi and prison chaplain, never heard the word “transgender” until his sophomore year of college.

Resolution promises progress for transgender Jews, but anxiety remains. Courtesy of Keshet

Speaking Out For An ‘Inclusive, Open’ Judaism

Daryl Messinger is the first woman to chair the Union of Reform Judaism.

11/16/2015 - 19:00

Daryl Messinger made a little history recently in Orlando, the site of the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial. A resident of Palo Alto, Calif., and an active board member of several organizations, Messinger was installed as URJ chair, becoming the first woman to hold that post. And she chanted Torah for the first time — in front of 5,000 worshippers at Shabbat morning services. Following the movement’s biennial, Messinger answered a few questions via email.

Daryl Messinger: Proud of “evolving, inclusive and unorthodox” Reform movement.

Conservative Jewry’s Numbers Plummeting, But Core Engagement Steady

11/10/2015 - 19:00

When delegates to the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism meet next week near Chicago, they will be seeking a way forward for a movement challenged by numerical decline but holding steady in Jewish engagement.

Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson performing at the United Synagogue centennial in Baltimore, Md. JTA

What 13-Year-Old Boys At Camp Taught Me About Inclusion

One of my primary responsibilities as the inclusion coordinator at URJ Camp Harlam, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania, is to make sure that campers with a disability (or a “different ability”) are set up for success at camp. We provide them with similar accommodations as the ones they have at home and at school, allowing them to experience camp to their personal best, in keeping with their abilities. This can often take careful planning, thoughtful conversations among partners, and communicating the right information in the right way to our counselors.

American Jewish Organizations Condemn Murder Of Arab Teen

07/07/2014 - 20:00

The murder of a Palestinian teenager allegedly by Jewish extremists has drawn widespread condemnations from across the ideological spectrum of the organized Jewish world.

World Union Of Progressive Judaism Names New President

04/29/2014 - 20:00
Web Editor

The international umbrella organization of several liberal streams of Judaism has named Reform leader Rabbi Daniel Freelander as its new president, the World Union of Progressive Judaism said in a press release.

Rabbi Daniel Freelander. Courtesy of Union of Reform Judaism

How I Became A Reform Jew

A popular singer has her mind and heart opened at recent URJ biennial.

12/30/2013 - 19:00

I grew up Jewish. Simply Jewish.

My late father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, raised us in an observant Orthodox household. Our lives were filled with beautiful ritual and we celebrated the wonder of a familial spiritual connection.

Neshama Carlebach

An Investment In Souls

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

12/23/2013 - 19:00
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.

URJ Biennial: Will This Be The Year Of Inclusion?

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.

Lisa Friedman
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