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Inside Leadership
Smiling group of learners listen to an educator give a lesson at the front of a room

The Union for Reform Judaism, in partnership with our congregations and clergy, has long created opportunities to learn about Judaism through A Taste of Judaism® and Introduction to Judaism classes, making Jewish learning accessible to those seeking to learn more, whether they’re on a conversion path, recently discovered Jewish heritage in their family tree, have a Jewish partner, Jewish children, or Jewish grandchildren, or are just...

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Young campers facing away from the camera with their arms around one anothers shoulders

For so many North American Jews, Jewish summer camp is a pivotal and defining experience. Like every other aspect of Jewish life, however, we must ensure camp is as inclusive as possible for everyone who wants to be a part of it, including campers with physical disabilities and mental, emotional, and social health (MESH) needs.

Thanks to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, seven of our URJ camps have received grants to make their grounds and programming as accessible to as many campers and visitors as...

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Man in a wheelchair at the bottom of a long flight of steps

Last summer marked the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This monumental legislation effects the civil rights of individuals with disabilities and was groundbreaking when it was passed in 1990. Previous legislation, the Rehabilitation Act of 1978, required only the programs and activities of public institutions to be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The ADA broadened coverage to include accessibility related to employment, public accommodations, and later, with an addition to the Rehabilitation Act, websites and other technology.

The...

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Blue background with image of small blue ladders and one large white ladder

Current societal and religious trends offer Reform congregations in North America an urgent and unprecedented opportunity to reimagine their way into the future.

First, let’s review some key data: The Jewish community is dramatically more diverse than we once realized it was: One in every seven to eight Jews is a person of color; we have a sizeable LGBTQIA+ population; and the number of Jewish-adjacent individuals in our communities is growing. At the same time, religious...

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This year has marked several transitions for Temple Beth Avodah in Newton, MA. Our suburban, 430-household congregation had a major building and renovation project and a number of staff transitions. We looked to the Union for Reform Judaism for help recalibrating and to gain an understanding of our areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

The URJ Congregational Benchmarking and Assessment Project did just that. Consisting of three evaluative tools –...

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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.