URJ Biennial

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.

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

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

Take On Me: What is Your Jewish “Aha Moment?”

10/25/2011 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist


Recently, a congregant told me about a wonderful program in which she participated as a teenager. While on a youth group retreat, the attendees were asked to reflect on big, defining moments for their involvement in Judaism. They were asked if they could identify one event which was a turning point, which led them to say to themselves, “Hey, I like this Judaism thing, and I want it to be a part of my life.”

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows
Syndicate content