Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison

Inside Leadership
Young campers facing away from the camera with their arms around one anothers shoulders

For so many North American Jews, Jewish summer camp is a pivotal and defining experience. Like every other aspect of Jewish life, however, we must ensure camp is as inclusive as possible for everyone who wants to be a part of it, including campers with physical disabilities and mental, emotional, and social health (MESH) needs.

Thanks to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, seven of our URJ camps have received grants to make their grounds and programming as accessible to as many campers and visitors as possible.

Yedid Nefesh Initiative: Addressing Camps' MESH Needs

According to...

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Black and white photo of the Little Africa section of Tulsa in flames during the 1921 race riot

Those closest to me know I’m a big fan of Marvel and DC comics, movies, and TV shows. I’ve written about how Avengers: Endgame helped prepare me for my adult bar mitzvah (during which I wore a Marvel-themed kippah) and how Black Panther can inspire the Jewish community.

However, my favorite comic is Watchmen, a DC comic dedicated to deconstructing and parodying the idea of “superheroes” as flawed, complex individuals, as well as invoking Cold War paranoia and other historical/sociopolitical themes.

One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels since 1923, Watchmen has inspired a...

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Closeup of a Torah unscrolled on blue fabric

Weekly congregational Torah study is a time-honored Jewish legacy that not only provides the chance for members to learn Torah, but to also learn more about one another. Groups like these have incredible potential for spiritually, emotionally, and mentally stimulating discussion that transcends age, background, and lived experience.

Rabbi Adam Fisher leads one such Torah study group at Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook, N.Y. – and the group has met every single week for 30 years in a row. To learn more about this incredible accomplishment, I spoke with Rabbi Fisher about these weekly...

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Assortment of knit kippot in piles on a table

Kippot (plural of kippah, which in Hebrew means yarmulkes or skullcaps) are religiously and culturally important pieces of Jewish prayer garb. Typically, kippot are small velvet, suede, or knitted skullcaps that cover only the upper back part of the scalp, but they are also available in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs.

Some wearers consider their kippot to be an extension of their personality, which is something Kate Rachel Lozier, a Judaica creator, fully understands. Lozier lives out her passion by designing and crafting kippot that stand out and tell their own unique...

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Biennial attendees sitting in a row and laughing

The URJ Biennial 2019 is fast approaching (just 36 days to go!) and we hope you’re as excited as we are for everything that's in store – including our Biennial Intensives, five learning session tracks on topics of the utmost important to congregations.

These intensives were created as a direct result of congregational feedback from past Biennials: We heard your requests for curated tracks to help you choose the most helpful learning sessions for your congregation’s most pressing needs and interests – and this year, we’re delivering big.

These five intensive tracks will help...

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