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Inside Leadership
Two women hugging while one holds a Torah

With the URJ Biennial fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your schedule – and there are a number of programming opportunities throughout the event that amplify women’s voices, highlight women’s contributions, and delve deeply into issues of gender equity.  

Take a look at these learning sessions, worship services, and other opportunities for engagement, then be sure to add them to your schedule so you don’t miss a single...

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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...

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Computer screen displaying URJ Biennial livestream website

Can’t be in Chicago to attend the URJ Biennial in person? You can still join the fun – no matter where in the world you are!

Have friends, family members, or fellow congregants who might want to know about this information? Please share this post widely to help us expand our reach and broaden the Biennial’s audience.

Join the Conversation on Social Media

We encourage you to follow the hashtag #URJBiennial on social media to see what people are saying throughout the event. You can also follow the URJ on ...

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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


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Rustic looking welcome sign hanging from twine

In the days when transportation was much slower and distances seemed longer, small Jewish communities developed in many towns. Geography and economic opportunity confront Jewish immigrants the same as all others, and in 1858, several Jewish families originally from Bohemia found their way from eastern U.S. seaports westward, into the farmlands, hills, and small towns of the Shenandoah Valley.

In 1867, this small Jewish community began renting a room for prayers in Rockingham County, VA. In 1877, the group formally incorporated as a religious congregation in Harrisonburg. The town’s...

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About Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership, the blog at, is a source for Reform Jewish leaders to get the latest news and though-provoking articles about Jewish communal life.