Elena Paull

Elena Paull

Inside Leadership
Campers with their arms around one another and their backs to the camera during an outdoor Shabbat service

The days on the calendar are rushing by, and the countdown is on to summer 2019!

This summer, more than 600 congregational leaders will serve as faculty on a URJ youth program, including camps, Israel trips, and Mitzvah Corps programs. This is an exceptional network of clergy, educators, youth professionals, and lay leaders and it is unique among all the Jewish youth movements.

Without you, this work wouldn’t be possible. Your shared commitment to engaging the next generation is critical in helping each young person discover meaning, purpose, and joy in being Jewish. With...

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Happy teens posing together at summer camp

The summer season is officially here! This week, the gates will open at URJ Greene Family Camp, URJ Camp Coleman, and URJ Jacobs Camp. In the coming weeks, more than 10,000 participants and 1,500 college-aged staff will experience communities of belonging on a URJ summer program – and that’s just during the summer!

As the school year winds down, we’re also reflecting with pride on how Reform Jewish teens have continued the fight against gun violence and mobilized for civic engagement; how congregations have embraced innovation to increase teen engagement; and how our Movement’s...

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Smiling kids packed into a gazebo at camp

With the school year wrapping up and summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to take a deep dive into planning for next year. There’s an opportunity for everyone, whether you’re looking to reimagine post-b’nei mitzvah engagement, train a new youth professional, or deepen sacred partnerships between professionals and lay leaders.

Learn more about three opportunities from the URJ to strengthen your congregation’s youth education and engagement:

1. Youth Professional 101 Fellowship

Is your congregation hiring a new youth professional this summer? Register for...

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Closeup of a persons hand resting on a mouse as they sit at a laptop with a mug of coffee nearby as if working

From social justice to Israel engagement; incorporating Jewish text to empowering a teen leadership board; adolescent development to adapting to a world dominated by technology – youth educators and engagement professionals need a wide range of skills to transform the lives of the young people with whom they work.

The Union for Reform Judaism is thrilled to share the spring line-up of professional development and ongoing learning opportunities for adults working with Jewish youth and teens. Keep up with changing trends, hone your skills, and add to your toolkit with the Union for...

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Image taken from the back of an outdoor sanctuary space with a rabbi on the bimah at the front and showing the backs of the heads of campers with their arms around one another

I often say that I owe my life to my summer camp director – but I don’t mean it in a “he saved my life” kind of way. Rather, when I look at the path my life has followed, the major pillars of my identity are rooted in the lessons I learned at camp and the relationships that started there.

As a young kid, I was actively involved in many types of Jewish activities. I grew up in an amazing synagogue; attended religious school and Hebrew school; celebrated Shabbat with dinner and candle-lighting, services and Israeli dancing; I spent countless summers at a local Jewish day camp. I have...

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