URJ

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.

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Camp

07/26/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

All I really need to know, I learned at camp (to borrow a phrase from Robert Fulghum). This may be a slight over-simplification, but it is greatly accurate, to say the least. Just as I did last year, I am writing my current column from Faculty Housing at URJ’s Crane Lake Camp in West Stockbridge, MA. I arrived a few days ago, though it already feels like I’ve been here for weeks. Immediately, you get sucked into camp culture, you add a bit more pep into your step, and you see the possibilities for fun in everything you do.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows.

URJ Overhauling The Bar/Bat Mitzvah

In bid for relevance and to retain youth, Reform educators are seeking to ‘revolutionize’ the ritual.

06/19/2012
Editor and Publisher

Simon Kuh didn’t chant a Haftorah for his bar mitzvah several Shabbat mornings ago at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Instead, the 13-year-old reported on his recent ride alone on a city bus, the 720 Wilshire, across Los Angeles on a Friday at rush hour “to see my city from a different perspective.”

Gary Rosenblatt

A Brand New Day For The Reform Movement

06/13/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Hundreds of us – Jews of all ages, nationalities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds – moved in unison. Our right arms reached backwards towards the past, then we each moved both hand, reaching forward toward the future, grasping at it, and bringing it close to our hearts. Choreographer Liz Lerman led the group in a symbolic dance that expressed many of the feelings of the group as we celebrated the installation of incoming URJ President, Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows.

Jacobs Takes Reins As URJ President

06/12/2012

Rabbi Rick Jacobs in his formal installation as president of the Union for Reform Judaism called on the movement to “chart a new course.”

Saturday’s installation took place at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn.

Scenes from Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ installation last week at Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim. Clark Jones/URJ

Social Justice Still Drives Jewish Agenda, Survey Notes

Liberal leanings seen having implications in campaign.

04/03/2012
Staff Writer

In a just-released survey that is being seen as a “deep” vein of data about the values that animate Jewish life — and likely affect Jewish voting patterns — the Jewish community’s commitment to social justice reveals itself in sharp relief.

A new survey shows that American Jews feel social justice is more important to their identity than support for Israel.

Reform Umbrella Restructures

In switch to ‘networked’ approach, new head fires 30 employees and announces plans for specialists and consultants.

03/27/2012
Staff Writer

The umbrella group serving Reform movement congregations is making organizational changes including firing and hiring in order to bring its structure in line with the priorities of its new leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

Rabbi Jacobs assumed the position at the movement’s 2011 Biennial meeting in December, when he also announced a new emphasis on both outreach to those unaffiliated with a synagogue and connection with teens. Within a year of a child’s bar or bat mitzvah, 50 percent of Reform families withdraw from synagogue life, Rabbi Jacobs said then.

Under Rabbi Rick Jacobs, its new president, the URJ will restructure in order to focus on his primary priority: outreach.

URJ To Restructure Movement

03/26/2012
Staff Writer

 

Faced with a member dropout problem and internal dissent from prominent leaders, the Union of Reform Judaism is undergoing another round of restructuring, its second since 2008.

The country’s largest Jewish denomination, the URJ is both hiring and firing staff in order to bring its structure more in line with the priorities of its new leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who assumed the position at the movement’s 2011 Biennial meeting.

Jacobs Unanimously Elected to Lead Reform Jews

06/13/2011

(JTA) -- The Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism unanimously elected Rabbi Richard Jacobs to serve as its next president.

Jacob's election on Sunday makes him the fourth person to hold the office since its creation in 1943. Previous presidents were Rabbis Maurice Eisendrath, Alexander Schindler and Eric Yoffie.

Jacobs currently serves as Senior Rabbi at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY, and will assume the presidency of the Union for Reform Judaism in 2012.He was nominated earlier this year.

Finding a Reform Jewish Voice in New York State

06/09/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the best "greatest hits collection" of the Torah - The Book of Deuteronomy! (applause, applause) Am I right?

Rabbi Marci Bellows
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