Alexandra Gilbert

Alexandra Gilbert

Inside Leadership
Hand dropping a ballot into a ballot box in front of the Israel flag

Important news for Reform congregations in the United States: The World Zionist Congress elections in the U.S. are coming soon, and your congregation’s participation is critical to maintaining a large Reform presence in Israel and here at home.

The Reform Movement is asking every eligible voter to stand up for Israel and our values – and we need every eligible person in our congregations to vote. Why? Because the more votes we get the more we are able to provide significant funds for our movement and build our political power. To start, here are five things you need to know about...

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Front of a classroom with a large chalkboard and an empty teachers desk with a laptop and school supplies

These days, I have tears in my eyes when I worry about the state of public education; I worry that we’re taking steps – leaps, even – backward. This issue is especially important to me because, like so many others, my public school journey would have been very different if not for the Americans with Disabilities Act, commonly known as the ADA

When I was 8 years old, my mother was helping me pack for summer camp and asked if I wanted to pick out some books to take with me. I looked at her and said, "Why? I can’t read." Though she’d known I didn't like to read, she was stunned that I...

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Nothing is more intimidating than leaving your comfort zone, facing a mix of new people, routines, and cultures – especially when you're doing it alone. I’ll never forgot how it felt when I left for college, a New York girl heading to school in the Midwest. I really hoped people were kidding about cow-tipping.

By the third week, it hit me. Classes were overwhelming, my dorm didn't feel like home yet, and I hadn't made friends that I felt connected to. And though my school had a large Jewish population, I seemed to meet a lot of kids who had never met a Jew. One guy asked (politely...

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When I was in first grade, a classmate asked me, “Are you Christmas or Hanukkian?” My response was, “I am more than Hanukkian. I am Jewish.”

Even at age 3, I'm told, I tugged on the pant leg of the temple president when he passed me by while walking around the sanctuary with the Torah. "Hey, mister," I said. "You missed me! I didn’t get to kiss the Torah!”

Clearly, my strong Jewish identity began at an early age, probably because my mom was on the board, and we were always at temple for services, religious school, and family events.  

But that identity was...

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