Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership
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Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

August 15, 2019; New York, NY – Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rabbi Rick Jacobs released the following statement in response to the Israeli government’s decision to bar entry to members of the United States Congress:

Israel’s decision to bar U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country is wrong, full stop. Democracies do not hide; they can protect their security and well-being and also celebrate robust debate and engagement in the public...

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Group of teens and adults facing forward sitting in pews

Looking for innovative opportunities to engage your teens around the High Holidays? These 10 ideas come directly from the source – youth professionals across North America.

1. Communicate in their medium. Use text messages, Instagram, and other teen-friendly channels for communicating directly with your teens about teen-specific opportunities. Follow up with parent-friendly emails.

2. Invite teens to be ushers. Start the welcoming at the door by inviting teens to be ushers, where they’ll be visible, interact with people of all ages, and have an integral role during our...

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Two enthusiastic camp counselors holding a hand painted sign that reads WELCOME HOME

During my recent travels to various camps in my new role working with URJ camps, NFTY, and year-round retreats in North America, I was very moved by the ruach, or spirit, of participants, staff, faculty, parents, and community leaders who comprise the camp mishpacha, family. I noticed the smiles, laughter, and playfulness of children; how staff nurtured their campers; the variety of activities that filled each day with fun and joyful, meaningful Judaism; and the abundance of songs, cheers, blessings, prayers, art, and wisdom.

I also noticed how I was welcomed with warmth and a “...

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Smiling young children wearing Purim costumes and sitting on the bimah in a synagogue

In the coming weeks, the hallways of our congregations will be overflowing with preschool students and High Holiday crowds – and some of the families that will step through our doors will be longtime members, while others will be new to the community. Whether or not your congregation has an early childhood education center (ECEC), you have the opportunity to leverage these critical entry (or re-entry) points into Jewish life and engage these families.

Relating to and supporting families with young children is essential to growing and strengthening your congregation. To help you in...

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Collage of images of past JewVNation fellowship cohorts

The concepts and values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (often abbreviated to simply “DEI”) are central to Judaism. More than just a belief system, DEI includes our communication styles and platforms, the actions we do or do not take, and the policies we uphold, abide by, and change.  If we are truly seeking inclusive Jewish communities,  everything we do must be rooted in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Because this work is...

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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.