April Baskin

April Baskin

Inside Leadership
Arrangement of hand weights, an orange, and a small chalkboard to record 2019 goals

Now that 2019 is here, I see lots of posts on social media about improving our health and fitness in the New Year. They remind me that we, the Jewish community, also need to make our communities healthier when it comes to audacious hospitality.

Some of our best-intentioned communities still suffer from spiritual lethargy around diversity, inclusion, and equity. While many communities have a desire to improve in these areas, they may need help staying focused and consistent.

Here are four ways to start 2019 on the right track and maintain momentum throughout the year and...

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Peoples hands together in a circle as if they are working together or celebrating

The URJ's successful JewV’Nation Fellowship is expanding to include a new LGBTQIA+ cohort – and there's no better time for it.

In 2017, the Union for Reform Judaism launched the first JewV’Nation Fellowship. The first Leadership Cohort was created out of a desire to develop outreach projects to foster community around interfaith and intersectional identities within the Jewish world - an aspect of Jewish life that was, and still is, in need of attention and repair.

After the first cohort’s projects successfully reached more than 1,000 people, the URJ took an even more...

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A group of hands of people of all races

To warn fugitive slaves of danger on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman would wander by their forested hideouts singing “Go Down Moses”:

Go down, Moses

Way down in Egypt’s land

Tell old Pharaoh

Let my people go!

This Negro spiritual – and the story of Israel’s deliverance from bondage – has sustained the black American struggle for freedom ever since, finding new life in the civil rights movement and more recently, in the Movement for Black Lives, which has reignited the spiritual’s vision for liberation in the hearts of many Americans....

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April Baskin smiles while standing at a podium

Shabbat shalom, friends. It is such a joy and an honor to be with you this Shabbat. I want to share a story that was recently published in the NATA (National Association for Temple Administration) Journal for temple administrators. (The original piece was published in Proof, a publication of PJ Library.)

As the Vice President of Audacious Hospitality, I deeply believe that every person should have a community where they feel fully supported and unconditionally accepted. One they can count on to be there for them over the course of their lives. We are, in fact, an ever-growing and...

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Compass with arrow pointing at Leadership

As I look back on my journey to my role as the vice president of audacious hospitality at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), I see many places where my experience mirrors that of other Jews. I found a home in a synagogue with my family, my parents and Jewish community advocated only for the best for me, fully encouraging my questions, my activism, and my involvement. When I stood on the bimah for my bat mitzvah, I brought my heritage as a Jew and as a Black, multi-racial woman to my interpretation of Torah, and I continue to do so today.

But I’ve also discovered that my experience...

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