Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership
People around a table eating
Close-up of exterior of U.S. Capitol dome
Dozens of teens standing on the Tallahassee Capitol steps wearing PARKLAND STRONG signs and carry gun violence prevention signs

I hope you saw the news stories about buses of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, making their way to Florida’s Capitol to plead with their legislators about preventing gun violence. For the past 24 hours, the Parkland Reform Jewish community made me one of their own and welcomed me onto their own bus to Tallahassee.  

I spent eight hours driving from Parkland to the Capitol with a group of my friends who, for a few hours one week ago, I believed might be dead.  

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People around a table eating

I recently taught a cooking class for a Sisterhood event at my temple. Certainly, how to teach such a class was not something I learned in cantorial school, and in fact, many of the activities I participate in at Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa, FL, are not expressly musical.

However, the Sisterhood asked me to lead this class after I taught an Israeli cooking class last May. I had based that class on...

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Close-up of exterior of U.S. Capitol dome

It is exciting to experience how Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) has taken root in the Jewish community during the last 10 years. Started as a grassroots initiative, JDAIM is now an international effort focused on making our Jewish community more understanding, welcoming, and supportive of people with disabilities and their families.

In Philadelphia, where I direct Whole Community Inclusion, we are thrilled to have 15 synagogues participating in JDAIM Shabbat...

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Hand sin the darkness holding a candle

As our NFTY teens know only too well, the Reform Jewish community faced the tragic task last week of burying our own: Among the 17 people gunned down in last Wednesday’s Parkland school shooting were Reform Jewish teens and a teacher.

Now, like teens across the county – led by some remarkable teen leaders in Parkland – NFTY leaders from across North America are channeling our rage and gearing up to play a leadership role in the campaign for meaningful gun violence prevention measures.

We are angry, we are determined, and we are strong. We are committed to ensuring that this...

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A group of hands of people of all races

To warn fugitive slaves of danger on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman would wander by their forested hideouts singing “Go Down Moses”:

Go down, Moses

Way down in Egypt’s land

Tell old Pharaoh

Let my people go!

This Negro spiritual – and the story of Israel’s deliverance from bondage – has sustained the black American struggle for freedom ever since, finding new life in the civil rights movement and more recently, in the Movement for Black Lives, which has reignited the spiritual’s vision for liberation...

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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.