Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
Two little girls sitting on the floor as they work on a craft project in the shape of trees

Reform Jewish education has changed radically since 1955, when the National Association of Temple Educators (now the ARJE) was founded. Today, innovation remains the guiding principle of those dedicated to advancing the profession and inspiring excellence in Jewish education. I caught up with Rabbi Stan Schickler, RJE, recently to learn about how his organization is contending with contemporary challenges in the field.

ReformJudaism.org: What was the impetus for your association changing its name in 2014 from the National Association of Temple Educators to the Association of Reform...

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Mans head facing away from the camera wearing a white kippah embroidered with a white Star of David

Adam Armoush, a 21-year-old Israeli Arab wanted to prove to a friend that it was safe to wear a kippah in Berlin. His experiment proved just the opposite. In broad day light in the affluent neighborhood of Prenzlauer, he was attacked by three men hurling insults at the Yehudi (Arabic word for Jew).

While being beaten with a belt, Armoush managed to capture on video one of the attackers, a 19-year-old Palestinian from Syria identified by the police as Knaan S.

“Honestly, I’m a little surprised a thing like this could happen,” Armoush said in an interview with Israeli...

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Dictionary opened to page with definition of anti-Semitism highlighted

Many years ago, a family with a Jewish surname moved to our street in Port Washington, New York, during Purim. We left a plate full of homemade hamantaschen and other holiday pastries on their doorstep, along with a note introducing ourselves. There was no response until Christmas time, when the newcomers invited us to their tree-decorating party. Somewhat apologetically, the husband confided that he was Jewish, but in name only.

Some months later, I heard a banging on my door. It was my neighbor looking grim. “What happened? “Someone spray-painted a swastika on our front door. I...

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Silhouette of a man staring up at the Milky Way night sky

In the Torah, God says to Moses, “I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall free My people, the Israelites, from Egypt” (Exodus 3:7). Moses feels inadequate to the task and complains that he is “slow of speech and slow of tongue,” but in the end, he overcomes his fears and accomplishes the task God chose him to do.

Moses’ divine mission was preordained. For most of us, however, discovering our higher purpose in life may require a leap of faith. 

To complicate matters, according to the great Jewish mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria of Safed (1534-1572), it is the divine mission of...

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Headshot of a smiling Marques Hollie against a black backdrop

Marques Hollie, 32, has created a Passover performance piece called “Go Down Moshe” at the intersection of what he describes as “the shared otherness of American Jews and people of color.” I recently caught up with Marques to hear more about this project and his Jewish journey.

ReformJudaism.org: What was your earliest experience with religion?

Marques Hollie: I was raised primarily in Bellevue, NE, which is not exactly teeming with diversity. We didn’t talk about religion in our home, but my parents considered going to a Black church. When I came out as both queer and...

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