Michelle Shapiro Abraham

Michelle Shapiro Abraham

Inside Leadership
Young female CLASP fellow working in a classroom with young children

To help more young Jews embrace Jewish life as a path to meaning, purpose and joy, the Union for Reform Judaism is expanding the URJ CLASP Fellowship (Camp Leader And Synagogue Professional). This innovative partnership model unites the Reform Movement’s 17 Jewish summer camps with URJ congregations to create new jobs and ongoing support for youth engagement professionals.

CLASP Fellows are full-time youth professionals who spend the summer months at a URJ camp and the academic year in a Reform congregation, with the responsibilities and salaries shared. These fellows are charged...

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Whether it’s in our congregations, at our camps, or in a NFTY program, we do everything we can to offer a safe and familiar environment in which children, teens, and young adults can explore Reform Jewish values. Living those values outside of these safe spaces can be more challenging, and requires courage, perseverance, and resilience in the face of setbacks and disappointment.

Reform Jewish teens are a model for how to build on the foundations of our movement and turn their ideas into actions focused on tikkun olam —healing the world.

Each of the teens below is a part of...

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Closeup of a person holding a globe under their arm like a soccer ball

As we reel from the aftermath of the shooting at Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Jewish educators consider how to support their teachers, as well as the children and families in their care. 

While the inclination may be to introduce brand new lessons and materials tomorrow, consider waiting. Allow your students to take the lead and let you know what they need to explore and give your community time to process. The following resources, however, may be helpful:

In a new post published the day of the shooting, Anne Berman-Waldorf, president of the Association of...

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We’re happy you asked! We are excited to introduce an executive summary highlighting the innovations in our field and offering questions for a guided reflection. Here’s how to use it:

Guide your own reading: As you read each article, these questions can help you to hone in on key concepts (all of us are busy – a little help focusing can always be helpful!) Explore with others: Many of us have youth committees or task forces that are exploring youth education and engagement. These articles and questions can help your committee explore guiding principles, challenge their current... Read More

Jewelry box overflowing with shiny jewelry against the backdrop of a modern bedroom

Three years ago, my family had a large house fire. We lost the top floor of our home and had significant water damage downstairs. It took almost a year to rebuild and for us to return home. I am forever grateful that we all got out and were safe, that the firefighters fought with bravery and courage, and that the damage wasn’t worse.

However, I remember standing at the first Shabbat after the fire, realizing that nothing on my body – from my clothes, to my shoes, to my jewelry, to the cell phone in my pocket – was something I had owned the week before. Like being kicked in the gut...

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