April Baskin

April Baskin

Inside Leadership
Cupped hands holding a paper cutout of two male shaped stick figures with a heart between them

In her recent personal essay LGBTQ Acceptance in the Jewish Community: How Far We've Come and What's Next, Cantor Shira Stanford-Asiyo, shares the story of meeting her now-wife at summer camp when they were just kids. Now a project manager with the URJ’s Audacious Hospitality team, Cantor Stanford-Asiyo talks about the importance of creating transformational changes that will more fully allow LGBTQ youth to access Jewish community as their full selves. She also shares a few of the Reform Movement’s recent steps toward making this inclusive dream a reality.

In honor of Pride Month,...

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keyboard with wrench and screwdriver images on the enter key

Audacious Hospitality (AH), a pillar of the Union for Reform Judaism’s endeavors, is firing on all cylinders. The JewV’Nation Fellows are rolling out their project prototypes, we’ve got dozens of applications for the Belin Awards in-hand, our Online Introduction to Judaism™ pilot classes are full (with a robust waiting list), and this coming Sunday we will launch our year-long URJ Keshet LGBTQ Youth Leadership Project with a leadership summit in New York City.

And perhaps most exciting, we are launching an Active Learning Network (ALN) to support our brand new Audacious Hospitality...

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The Jewish community is remarkable in so many ways – ways that inspire millions of people and help bring more justice and compassion to our world. And yet, we are not immune to blind spots.

Despite the best of intentions, we still leave people out – both occasionally and chronically. That’s where members of our community – especially those who have often existed within those blind spots – can lend their leadership and change our community for the better with their visions of a more inclusive future. more inclusive future. These individuals, who have experienced both insider and...

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Child's finger following along with the Four Questions in a haggadah

The two stars of Passover most commonly are the seder and matzah. Like many Jewish holidays, they commemorate our deliverance from danger: the Egyptians tried to kill us, we escaped, let’s attend a seder and eat matzah – for eight days. But in my opinion, the unsung hero of the Passover experience is the haggadah, the seder guide that tells the story of the Exodus.

I recently came across this quote at haggadot.com:

“We’re all so unique. How do we bring our full personalities to the table? Wouldn’t it be great if we could embrace tradition and start a conversation that...

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person with diability in a wheelchair participating in a program/event

At the heart of the Reform Movement’s commitment to the concept of “audacious hospitality” is the belief that we will be a stronger, more vibrant community when we fully integrate the diversity that is the reality – and the future – of modern Jewish life. Annual awareness initiatives such as Jewish Disability Advocacy and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) and Black History Month give us opportunities to strengthen our commitment to social change and, in doing so, to highlight the need for ongoing awareness of underrepresented individuals and groups within our communities – and the values they can...

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