Learn more about this exciting new platform, where Reform congregational leaders connect with colleagues and peers who have similar concerns, interests and responsibilities.
January 29, 2018, New York, NY – ReformJudaism.org, the flagship website of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) reaching 3.2 million visitors annually, is celebrating the third anniversary of the On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah podcast featuring Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the URJ with its first episode recorded before a live audience. The special anniversary episode, “Courageous Leadership,” focusing on parashat Yitro, was recorded at the sold-out URJ Biennial convention in Boston last month.
Since launching in 2016, On the Other Hand has consistently ranked among the Top Jewish podcasts on iTunes.
The engaging and entertaining podcast is available now for download and subscription on iTunes, RSS feed, and other platforms. In 2017, On the Other Hand was joined by Stories We Tell, ReformJudaism.org’s second weekly podcast.
To access the podcasts, visit Reformjudaism.org/podcasts
The On the Other Hand podcast extends ReformJudaism.org’s popular Ten Minutes of Torah commentary series of daily emails and blogs exploring Jewish wisdom. On the Other Hand offers insights into the weekly Torah portion, helping listeners to open up Jewish thought and its contemporary influence on life today. Each week, Rabbi Jacobs distills 2,000 years of Jewish wisdom into just 10 minutes of relatable, modern-day commentary. The podcast invites users to share their own interpretations of Torah via Facebook and Twitter.
“With the podcast format, we’re reaching new people who are engaging with the weekly Torah portion,” said Rabbi Jacobs. “I’ve had the privilege of sharing my perspectives with listeners and also hosting leading voices from the Jewish community and from other faiths to explore how text study enriches our lives and affects our choices and actions toward bringing more wholeness, justice, and compassion to the world.”
Rabbi Jacobs said, “It’s a special milestone to revisit Parashat Yitro, the first episode we recorded, which focuses on the Israelites receiving the Torah at Sinai. An exceptional aspect of the revelation at Sinai is that it was a communal experience, shared by all the Israelites regardless of status, age, or gender. The Hebrew word ha-am, meaning “the people,” is repeated time and again throughout Yitro, echoing the inclusivity of this transformative moment in history. While doling out crucial guidance to Moses, Yitro pushed out our tent poles even farther, a concept that we at the URJ channel with much of our inclusion work.”
Rabbi Jacobs was joined in conversation for this episode’s live recording by Rabbi Judy Schindler, author of Recharging Judaism, Sklut Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte and Rabbi Emerita at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina. Together they reflected on expanding the tent of Jewish life, and celebrated the enduring legacy of her father, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, who, in his capacity as president of what was then the UAHC, laid the important groundwork for the URJ’s practices of inclusion today.
“Listeners tell us that ReformJudaism.org’s podcasts offer them a religious, cultural, spiritual, and communal experience that’s both deeply rewarding and easy to access,” said Rabbi Leora Kaye, Director of Program for the URJ. “We are proud to continue producing these podcasts together with all the rich Jewish content and progressive, egalitarian perspectives that are only found on ReformJudaism.org.”
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ABOUT REFORMJUDAISM.ORG. Since its launch in March 2013, ReformJudaism.org has reached 10 million users, becoming a popular destination for people seeking information about Jewish life, practice, learning, culture, and social justice from a modern Jewish perspective. ReformJudaism.org offers “how-to” videos, holiday guides, recipes, Torah commentaries, blessings, information about Israel, articles on parenting, Jewish practice and rituals, social justice and advocacy, and a lively blog. Visit ReformJudaism.org to find answers to questions, educational information on Jewish practice and holidays, a directory of Reform Jewish congregations, listings of Judaism classes across North America, and more.
ABOUT RABBI RICK JACOBS. Rabbi Rick Jacobs is the president of the URJ, representing the largest movement in North America, with almost 900 congregations representing nearly 1.5 million people. An innovative thought leader and representative of progressive Judaism, Rabbi Jacobs has been featured by The New York Times and appeared on CNN.