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Inside Leadership
Songleader strumming a guitar in the foreground with people gathered in a circle around him in the background
Metal compass on a wooden surface
Womans hand on a laptop keyboard with a seder playing on the computer screen

Passover is a highly experiential holiday, a time when we typically come together with family, friends, and the rest of our community in celebration of our Judaism – remembering our past and anticipating our future. For some families, this is the one time of year when they join together in person to share traditions, tell stories, and create lasting memories.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has put all of us, the world over, in an unprecedented position: Although we cannot share physical spaces, modern technology allows us to gather virtually, so that we may still create the...

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Songleader strumming a guitar in the foreground with people gathered in a circle around him in the background

This week, we will celebrate the Passover holiday, typically a time when families come together to enjoy a seder filled with remembrance, recognition, and hope.

We recite the Shehecheyanu during our ceremonial meal, thanking God for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.

At some point, we will read from our ancient story to harken the call to oppressors to release us from bondage, to allow us to...

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Stained glass Star of David

As we prepare to enter into the holy days of Passover, let’s first take a moment to reflect on the work we’ve all done throughout the past few weeks.

It has been quite extraordinary. You have been quite extraordinary.

And in this moment, where there are no perfect answers, you have been willing to lead. You have helped make very narrow places, the literal translation of the word mitzrayim, a little less narrow.

Like Moses, you have had to make difficult decisions for your communities. You have considered inputs from health officials, attorneys, other leaders, and...

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Metal compass on a wooden surface

In the last few weeks, my congregational community, like others around the world, has spent a great deal of time and energy formulating a plan to deal with the myriad of possible situations and decisions associated with the advent of COVID-19.

As we struggle to consider all our options in this ever-changing environment, we strive to make decisions using a values-based matrix that will help us to act in a consistent manner that is in line with Jewish tradition and modern sensibility.

1. Pikuach Nefesh / Saving a Life

This is the most important Jewish value. Our sacred texts...

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Womans hands on a laptop keyboard as she sits on a couch

In these last weeks, our Jewish community has been unexpectedly turned upside down by new restrictions caused by the spread of COVID-19. Rabbi, cantors, educators, and all Jewish professionals have been moving quickly to figure out responses to connect despite social distancing.

As Jews, we know how to connect. We know that connection across distance matters. It’s at the core of who we are. Just as our ancestors gained strength knowing that there were other Jews around the world, so too does our connection across physical distance give us strength and nourish our resilience.

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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.