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Inside Leadership

Anyone who has been to NFTY Convention will tell you that it is an experience like no other, and this year’s event will be extra special. NFTY Convention 2019 will be held in Dallas, TX, February 15-18, 2019, and will bring together more than 1,400 teen leaders, college students, Jewish educators, alumni and other dedicated supporters.

This year, students have led the Reform Movement in many powerful ways. This year’s NFTY Convention will build on their leadership in co-creating experiences with and for their peers: teens are leading the...

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The author and her students creating the sea turtle poster

After my teacher-daughter took a sea turtle rescue and conservation tour with marine biologists and other teachers last summer in Hawaii, she came home with one takeaway: “Mom, the plastic straws have got to go!”

For seven days, she and the others participated in sea turtle research and rescue projects, helping local biologists better understand the population distribution of these animals. They removed plastic junk covering vast stretches of beautiful beaches and rescued sea turtles injured by fishing line or other objects.

Fast forward to the High Holidays at the...

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Three people in shadow helping each other ascend to the top of a mountain

Whenever someone utters the words “synagogue governance,” our minds usually go to issues of bylaws, the structure and content of board meetings, and the assemblage of committees. When discussing this topic, we often overlook the importance of a healthy leadership culture.

Congregations thrive when leaders embrace sacred partnership, represent the diverse spectrum of the community, nurture new ideas and experimentation, and promote an inquisitive, positive organizational mindset.

The URJ has identified four cultural habits that inspire healthy leadership and...

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Closeup of a person wearing a Star of David necklace against a blue sweater

A new CNN-Pew poll reveals a chilling truth that alas, we already know: anti-Semitism is alive and well, both in Europe and in the U.S. According to the findings, “more than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.”

Similarly, nearly half the 557 respondents in a survey of Dutch Jews said they were afraid of identifying publicly as Jews by wearing kippot.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Erdogan, who is tightening suppression of...

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Pathway in green grass painted with 2019 2020 and 2021

Seven years ago, just as I began my tenure as president of the Union for Reform Judaism, I stood before our Movement at the Biennial and shared the following:

“We are poised at one of the most critical and dramatic crossroads in all of Jewish history. If we stay put and leave things as they are, we will have failed the test of Jewish leadership. But we’re not going to stay put. We are the Reform Movement, and we’re going to get moving. We’re going to move forward with strength and creativity.”

Or, as our...

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About Inside Leadership

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