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Inside Leadership
Group of people smiling and dancing at the 2015 URJ Biennial
Shabbat worshippers
Welcome written on a wooden sign with flowers

Thanks to a grant we received from the Union for Reform Judaism to help offset advertising costs for A Taste of Judaism® at Temple Sinai in Reno, NV, we held the first of the course’s three sessions just after the High Holidays. My students and I sat in an open circle facing one another, and a feeling of awe-struck sacredness emerged as each person told us their name, background, and reason for joining the class. Their reasons were as diverse as they were.

Some were new...

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Group with their hands in the air as though celebrating at some sort of conference or convention

Every four years, Progressive Jews from around the world would pilgrimage to Jerusalem to learn with and from each other and to forge personal connections with the holy land. Though framed as a conference, the experiences at CONNECTIONS transcend the usual workshops and networking, as it truly serves as medium for fostering a sense of belonging among participants to both Israel and the Jewish people.

In 1973, the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), the global organization for which I serve as President, moved its headquarters from bustling Manhattan to historic Jerusalem....

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Two silhouetted men pushing giant puzzle pieces toward one another

Imagine the sight of dozens of face-painted children and the smell of barbeque. Imagine listening to their voices join in song for "Bim Bam Shabbat Shalom" and "Hinei Mah Tov." Soon, you hear squeals of delight from a bouncy castle and excited parents chatting about plans to bring their families back for similar outside fun at future Summer Shabbat Series events.

This engaging community experience actually happened as part of the Young Family Shabbat Carnival at Temple Sinai in Denver, CO. How did it come about? The parents...

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Bright light bulbs hanging from a ceiling against a green background with one brighter lightbulb focused in the foreground

Today in so many contexts, the motto appears to be “innovate or die.” It would be almost impossible to count the number of articles and speeches that have advocated for this approach to business. Innovation success stories such as Apple, GE, and Lego are given as examples to follow; Kodak, Blockbuster, and Borders are the cautionary tales of what can happen when this advice is ignored.

Many suggest that Jewish organizations and institutions, too, face a choice to innovate or die.

In Jewish circles, those who advocate this mantra often reserve their harshest criticism for...

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Press Release

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued a statement today on the proposed conversion bill introduced into the Knesset on May 10th, 2017, by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, led by Shas MK Aryeh Deri:

MK Deri’s proposed legislation has the virtue of honesty. He believes that only Orthodox religious authorities should be recognized by the State of Israel, so his legislation would make clear that non-Orthodox Jews in Israel will be treated as second-class citizens – and that non-Orthodox Jews around the world will only be fully...

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About Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership, the blog at URJ.org, is a source for Reform Jewish leaders to get the latest news and though-provoking articles about Jewish communal life.