Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
Glass wine bottle in the process of shattering

Dr. Ruhama Weiss, parallel professor of Talmud and of spiritual care at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Reform Movement’s seminary, has mobilized her talents as a scholar, artist, poet, and public intellectual to challenge our assumptions as she examines the intersection of ancient texts and human experience.

It is the job of sages and scholars, she insists in her Ten Minutes of Torah (TMT) commentary on this week’s portion, B’midbar (Numbers, Chapter 1), to “uproot that which previous generations proposed and offer fresh...

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A variety of cheeses spread out on a table

Jill Zenoff, a Jewish environmental educator and chef, won the top prize at this year’s Cheesemonger Invitational. Zenoff, who an alumna of Reform Jewish summer camp URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, WI, also founded The Gan Project, an award-winning Jewish food and farming organization that served the Chicago area from 2010-14.

A professional cook since 2014, she is currently the sous chef at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, CA. In advance of Shavuot, a particularly dairy-heavy Jewish holiday, I caught up with Jill to talk about home cheesemaking and a very...

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The author and his mother

Last year I interviewed my mother, Adela, a Holocaust survivor, and gained so many valuable insights that I decided to do a follow-up. For anyone who may regret not having asked their mother about lingering questions, what better time for such a conversation than Mother’s Day? Ma, why do you celebrate two birthdays every year?

I am really celebrating two miracles. I was born in 1921 in Poland to parents who had lost a son and daughter in an epidemic 10 years earlier. My parents brought me to the rebbe (rabbi) and asked him what they could do to keep me...

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Closeup view from the bottom of the Statue of Liberty looking up against a blue sky background

On the eve of Yom HaShoah, the Kraus Family Foundation and the Union for Reform Judaism announced the creation of the Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice. This new initiative seeks to galvanize people to action around the current immigration and refugee crisis in the United States.

Peter and Jill Kraus, the foundation’s co-founders, named the program in honor of Peter’s grandparents, a Philadelphia couple that followed their conscience and, against all odds, rescued 50 Jewish children imperiled by the Nazis in 1939. Their almost forgotten story...

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Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh in a scene from The Soap Myth

Film and television stars Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh headline The Soap Myth, a play by Jeff Cohen about a cantankerous Holocaust survivor on a crusade to convince Holocaust museum curators that the Nazis manufactured soap from the corpses of murdered Jews.

Asner plays the survivor; Feldshuh plays dual roles of a scholar and a Holocaust denier. They are joined by Drama Desk Award winner Ned Eisenberg in various roles and by Liba Vaynberg, who portrays a young journalist struggling to sort out the historical truth.

I caught up with playwright Jeff Cohen to get his take on...

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