Michelle Shapiro Abraham, MAJE, RJE

Michelle Shapiro Abraham, MAJE, RJE

Inside Leadership
Teen leaders at a Reform Jewish teen gathering

It helps me feel more a part of the community to be in charge. I’m not just going to Shabbat services and not knowing what to do, who to talk to, where to sit…. If I’m leading the service, then I don’t need to worry about any of that. I know I’m standing in front of the room and I know people will talk to me. I don’t need to worry about having plans on Friday night because I’m a leader and they expect me to be at the service. I’m being held accountable for showing up. It just makes me feel more comfortable, accepted, and a part of things.

– Reform Jewish college leader

...

Read More

Three young people playing guitars at a summer camp worship service

The Reform Movement has a long, distinguished history of lifting souls and spirits with music – in worship and beyond. In summer camps, synagogues, and youth group gatherings, songleaders create new arrangements, borrow from beloved composers, and rock out to updated versions of old favorites. Perhaps more than anything else in the Jewish world, music has the power to bring our community together. “When we lift our voices in song, we exemplify the best of Reform Judaism: committed, joyful, and connected,” says Cantor Rosalie Will Boxt, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) director of worship...

Read More

A group of high school students sitting on the floor, each holding a guitar

Jewish thought leader, Dr. Tali Zelkowicz, teaches that we often view Jewish life as a precarious, fragile existence always on the brink of destruction. This “china shop” view of Jewish history sees everything – from the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem to the Enlightenment – as proof that we need to fiercely protect our tradition.

Dr. Zelkowicz also teaches us, however, that we could view these same moments in Jewish history as a “jungle gym.” In every generation Jews take leaps of faith to reimagine what Jewish life might look like. Indeed, change has been our constant – as...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Blogroll