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Inside Leadership
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, z'l, speaking and the 2017 URJ Biennial convention

Three short (or maybe long) weeks ago I celebrated from the balcony at Congregation Emanu-El in New York City as my 56-year-old sister received a master’s degree in education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). It had been a long journey for her, begun 25 years ago in New York, interrupted for a long stretch by geography, and completed back in NYC. The excitement, happiness, and sense of accomplishment in the sanctuary was palpable, as it is at most graduations.

Not a single one...

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner speaking at a dais at the Consultation of Conscience

A pivotal moment in my social justice journey happened last May on my first trip to Israel with the Women of Reform Judaism. Celebrating Rosh Chodesh with Women of the Wall, I experienced first-hand the shocking level of intolerance aimed against Reform Jewish women like me for simply wanting to sing and chant Torah. When I returned to California, I felt compelled to speak out against this injustice as well as other injustices at home.

Fast forward a year. I'm headed to Washington, D.C, for my first meeting as a WRJ representative on the...

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Three individuals as part of a larger group marching in some sort of event and carrying a sign that reads DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY MARCH PROUDLY

“Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive and occupy the land that Adonai your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 16:20)

At the core of our creation story, Judaism teaches us that our world is broken – but that it can be repaired through righteous, reflective, and deliberate action.

In 21st-century congregational life, a deep commitment to social justice work is critical. It also serves two purposes: It fulfills our sacred mandate to improve our world, and it provides an important avenue for those seeking a values-driven community. Congregational social...

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Press Release

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

New York, NY; May 14, 2018 - Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the statement below in response to the deadly violence in Gaza:

That Israel has the right, and even the obligation, to defend herself and her borders is beyond dispute. But we are alarmed, concerned, and profoundly saddened by the growing number of Gazan dead and wounded. It does not have to be this way. In a week when tensions are high, we demand that the Palestinian Authority do all...

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Press Release

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

New York, NY; May 14, 2018 - Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the statement below about the inauguration of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem:

We celebrate with Israel and the U.S. to mark this historic occasion as the U.S. Embassy opens in Jerusalem. Having the American Embassy in Jerusalem underscores the special relationship between Israel and the United States.

We hope that the new Embassy being dedicated today will become an additional ...

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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.