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April 12, 2012

Union for Reform Judaism Weekly Briefing
Calendar | Subscribe | Donate | Find a Congregation | Press Room April 12, 2012 | 20 Nisan 5772

(President Obama hosts a traditional Seder dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House. Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Passover Round Up


Interesting seders that appeared in the news this week:

Show Us Your Matzah Balls!

Send us photos of your seder table, seder plate or special traditions. Read more » 


New York Times: Op-Ed: Invitation to a Dialogue: Religion in Public Life

Rabbi Dennis Ross asserts that "faith must never be the final word when it comes to writing the law." Read more »

Los Angeles Times: Obama praised -- and pummeled -- on matters of faith

Few presidents have spoken more often or more articulately about their religious beliefs -- or faced such hostility from some quarters about their policies on church issues. Read more »

Time Magazine: What's a Bris? L.A. Hospital Launches Workshop for Jewish Parents-to-Be

With fewer Jewish families affiliating with synagogues, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is reaching out to would-be parents in the hospital. Read more »

USA Today: 'Reverts' find their way back to childhood faith

Just 9 percent of U.S. adults say they've returned to the practices and prayers that shaped them. They're not converts; they're reverts. And religious denominations are stepping up efforts to reclaim, re-energize -- and sometimes re-educate -- these fallen-away faithful. Read more »

Sacramento Bee: Hunger and Nutrition Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Nutrition Programs in Farm Bill

Over 90 advocacy organizations, including the URJ, sent a letter to Congress urging the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to strengthen and protect nutrition programs in the 2012 Farm Bill. Read more »


Our Visit with Izzy the Mitzvah Bear

Twelve adorable stuffed bears are visiting more than 100 URJ Early Childhood Centers in congregations throughout North America. This is the story of one bear's experiences at Temple Kehillat Chaim in Roswell, GA. Read more »

Sacred Conversations:
Choreography in Holy Time

Stacey Zisook Robinson finds the divine in her version of davening, inspired by her sacred connection to her son. Read more »

Camp is right around the corner!

Spaces are still available for this summer -- don't let the children in your community miss out! Read more »

See also:

D'Var Torah Sh'mini I: C'mon, Baby,
Light My Fire!

Nadab and Abihu's story in this week's Torah portion raises some thoughts about our current trend of experimenting with new worship practices. Read more »

Registration Open for L'Taken Social Justice Seminars for Teens

The program exposes students to public policy issues, Jewish values and advocacy skills in Washington, D.C.. Read more »

Registration is now open for these popular URJ training opportunities:


Counting the Omer

Today is the Fifth Day of the Omer. The period between Pesach and Shavuot commemorates the ancient rite of bringing the first sheaf (omer) of the barley harvest to the priests at the Temple. Learn more »

How is Your Congregation Commemorating Yom HaShoah?

April 18: Also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah provides an opportunity for communities to commemorate the day through worship, music and stories from survivors. Learn more »

URJ Books and Music Suggestions for Yom HaShoah

In anticipation of Yom HaShoah, here are two URJ Books and Music suggestions. Receive 10% off the books by using Coupon Code: YHS10.

The Number on My Grandfather's Arm

is the moving story of a young girl who learns of her grandfather's experience in Auschwitz and helps him overcome his sensitivity about the number on his arm. Read more »

Escape from the Holocaust

Berlin in the 1930s. You are a Polish Jewish medical student. Should you stay in Germany or return to Poland? Will you try to reach Eretz Yisrael? A Do-It-Yourself Jewish Adventure. Read more »

Reflection on Yom HaShoah

RJ magazine Editor Aron Hirt-Manheimer recalls how his parent's memories and lessons from the Holocaust have served as a moral compass throughout the years. Read more »

The Evolving Narrative of the Holocaust Memory in Israel

Israelis more than anyone feel compelled to concentrate on heroism in the Holocaust. Read more »


Spotlight: Israel

In April, the URJ highlights Israel resources to help you and your congregations strengthen your connection to the Jewish State. Read more »

Is Your Congregation Ready for Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut?

April 24-25: Find out more about these holidays, and get ideas to observe and celebrate. Read more »

See also:

Reform Israel Shabbat

April 27-28: Support and celebrate Israel in your community and with the rest of North America. Read more »

Israel and the Fantastiks

Yom HaAtzmaut is celebrated by most Israeli citizens, but less than a third of the Jews in America? Why? Read more »

Israel Advocacy Resources from the Religious Action Center

Learn about the Reform policy views, the peace process, religious pluralism, foreign aid, and more. Read more »

From the Communicate Program Bank: Create a "Trip to Israel" Fair

Adath Emanu-el in Mount Laurel, NJ created an elaborate "trip," complete with airplane ride and passport control, to expose religious school students to Israeli life. Read more »

Making Aliyah and Finding Home

Micha'el and Nachama Namal inform us that: Yes, Reform Jews make aliyah. Read more »

Make Sure Teens in Your Community Benefit from a NFTY Israel Experience!

From ARZA: The Reform Israel Fund



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