Social Justice Still Drives Jewish Agenda, Survey Notes

Liberal leanings seen having implications in campaign.
04/02/2012 - 20:00
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.
03/26/2012 - 20:00
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

03/25/2012 - 20:00
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

06/12/2011 - 20:00

(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

06/08/2011 - 20:00
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

Reform Rift Over Zionist Credentials of Incoming Chief Rick Jacobs

04/28/2011 - 20:00

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) – Ads questioning the Zionist credentials of the leader-designate of the Reform movement are a distortion, Reform leaders said.

The ad attacking Rabbi Richard Jacobs for not being sufficiently pro-Israel appeared in a number of Jewish newspapers this week. It was placed by a group of Reform Jews calling themselves Jews Against Divisive Leadership.

Eight Days a Week, (Camp) I Lo-o-o-o-ove You!

04/13/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

So, I'm in the middle of my Pesach preparations, as I'm sure many of you are. I'm figuring out which Haggadah to use this year, finalizing the menu that my sister and I will prepare for our guests, and cleaning up the living room and dining room. The kitchen is about to be the eye of the storm, and brand-new bottles of Manichewitz wine are already forming what looks like a small army on the counter.

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.

J.J. Goldberg gets it on Richard Jacobs, Reform, J Street

Okay, he works for the competition and all, but I have to say it: the Forward's J.J. Goldberg nailed it  on the issue of Rabbi Richard Jacobs, recently selected as the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

NFTY’s ‘Glee’ Club

01/17/2011 - 19:00

The members of the glee club on the hit television series “Glee” rarely venture outside their high school music classroom. But this summer the Union for Reform Judaism is searching for the best and brightest Jewish performers to take their own choral act on the road to Europe and Israel.

Auditions for “JewGlee,” a teen summer program run by the North American Federation of Jewish Youth (NFTY), are kicking off next month as URJ scours the country for 30 of the best, most enthusiastic teens for its pilot program.

Alene Katzew will lead 30 teens across Europe and Israel in a “Glee”-style choral group.
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