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Inside Leadership
Shabbat worshippers

At this point in my career, I have attended countless Jewish leadership conferences. In many instances, I have been on the steering committees responsible for selecting a theme, developing the program, wrangling speakers, and planning the logistics. Although the audience, agenda, and timing of each conference create unique challenges, the people responsible for scheduling always grapple with the same old question: what do we do about Shabbat?

In too many cases, conference organizers avoid Shabbat programming like the...

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Pope Francis and Rabbi Rick Jacobs

The New York Times reported last week on a sweeping new survey of the political attitudes of American clergy. Among the survey’s least surprising findings: Reform rabbis are the most liberal cohort.  (Conservative Rabbis are not far behind.)

Since the election last November, we have heard time and again how synagogue attendance is up. People are searching for a place to be with others, in a safe space...

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Four smiling campers arm in arm

By lunchtime on Friday, the atmosphere feels different. The schedule changes, making time and space to prepare. We get ready, pulling out what is probably our last set of clean clothes. We grab cameras, anticipating lots of pictures since everyone will be looking their best. We’re excited. We are, for once, ready when it’s time to go. We walk. We sing. We join hands, gathering more friends as we go. Literally or figuratively, we ascend. We welcome Shabbat.

I am a Reform Movement camp veteran: a camper at URJ Camp Harlam in the 1990s, a unit...

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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...

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The new NFTY North American Board

Photo: Phil Angel

June 16, 2017, New York, NY -- Six outstanding teen leaders have been elected to serve on the North American Board of NFTY, the Reform Jewish youth movement, for the 2017-2018 program year. Reform Judaism is the largest and most diverse movement in Jewish life, reaching nearly 900 congregations and more than 1.5 million people.

For more than 75 years, NFTY has been taking action to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. A primary focus of these teen leaders will be NFTY’s...

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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.