Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
White-haired man holding a birthday cake and blowing out the candles on it

Laura Geller, rabbi emerita of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, CA, was the third woman to be ordained in the Reform Movement. Named an “Influencer in Aging” by Next Avenue.org, a site for people over 50, she is a co-founder of ChaiVillageLA.org, the first synagogue village in America.

Rabbi Geller is the co-author, with her late husband Richard Siegel, z”l, of Getting Good at Getting Older, a whimsical do-it-yourself toolkit to empower the boomer generation to deal with the challenges of aging. I spoke with Rabbi Geller while she was on the east coast visiting her...

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President Andrew Rehfeld with HUC JIR students on the Jerusalem campus

Andrew Rehfeld, Ph.D., is the 10th president in the 144-year history of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Having served as associate professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis and as president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Dr. Rehfeld’s career has bridged the academic and Jewish worlds.

I sat down with him at the New York City campus of HUC-JIR to ask him about the path that led to his new role.

ReformJudaism.org: Who were your Jewish earliest influencers growing up in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and...

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Sarah Hurwitz speaking with Former First Lady Michelle Obama

From 2009 to 2017, Sarah Hurwitz served as a White House speechwriter, first as a senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama and then as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama. She is the author of Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life – in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).

ReformJudaism.org: You and Michelle Obama come from very different backgrounds. How did you capture her voice?

Sarah Hurwitz: I’ve found that what matters most in speechwriting isn’t sharing the same background or life experiences as the...

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Black and white photo of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen was born on September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Quebec two days after his family observed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the oldest traditional Ashkenazi synagogue in Canada. 

When Leonard was 9 years old, his father, Nathan, was laid to rest in the congregation’s cemetery. In a secret ritual, the grief-stricken boy folded a message into one of his father’s bowties and buried it in the garden.

All his work, Cohen would later say, grew out of that act.

“Story of Isaac,” on Cohen’s second album, “Songs from a Room” (1969),...

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Photo of Nathan the Wise being performed on stage

Antoni Cimolino, artistic director of Canada’s Stratford Festival, has dedicated the season to the theme “breaking boundaries.” The selections include two paired morality plays with crossover repertory casts – Birds of a Kind and Nathan the Wise – that challenge us to transcend our inherited religious and ethnic prejudices.

Directed by Cimolino and written by Lebanese-born Wajdi Mouawad, Birds of a Kind (original French title Tous Des Oiseaux) is making its English debut at the Ontario-based repertory theater company, the largest in North America. Mouawad, an award-winning...

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