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Inside Leadership
Large group of smiling teens

There are a few quips and phrases that make me cringe, like hearing nails on a chalkboard. One of them is the standard answer to the age-old question “Why are we doing things this way?” which is often, “Because that’s how it’s always been done.”

In my opinion, that expression is a cop-out answer for when we’re too too lazy or too scared to come up with a real response. When the only reason you’re still doing things is “because that’s how it’s always been done,” it’s probably time for a change.

I honor our youth group’s past and history and acknowledge that, for many years,...

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs dancing in the middle of a large crowd at Biennial

The largest Jewish gathering in North America is coming! This year, the URJ Biennial is headed to the land of deep-dish pizza – Chicago, IL – from December 11-15, 2019. Get ready to come together with more than 5,000 Jews to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing, and hear from inspiring speakers.

We recently ran a "flash sale" for past attendees, offering them the chance to snag their spot before general registration begins. If you weren't eligible for that sale, don't worry: General registration for the 2019 URJ Biennial will open on...

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Open Torah scroll with reading pointing a silver yad at the text

Three years ago, Rabbi Reuven Samuels, z”l, one of the giants of our generation, left us. Not only did he teach me the essence and essentials of education, liberal Judaism, and the deep connection between them, but during 25 years of devoted service to the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa, Israel, he was instrumental in founding Reform Judaism in Israel.

When I started working at the Leo Baeck Education Center 30 years ago, I was excited to be associated with an institution that expresses "community" through Torah, avodah (worship), and g’...

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Rabbi Dena Feingold with her brother and sister-in-law at the tree dedication at her congregation in Wisconsin

Every Jewish congregation and institution in the country has been grappling with new concerns around security since the tragedy at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. Ours did that too, but we also were given a gift that enabled us to respond with memory, resolve, beauty, and hope for the future of the Jewish people.

When the massacre occurred, our lay leaders, school staff, and I spent the last hours of that Shabbat and the following day helping the congregation begin to cope with their grief, fears, and...

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Four individuals holding a sign that says PROTECT SAFE LEGAL ABORTION

Yesterday, Sebastian Gorka, a notorious far-right pundit, attacked me on Twitter for my unequivocal support for reproductive rights. In fact, he implied that supporting an individual’s right to make moral decisions about their own health care is antithetical to Jewish values.

How did this happen?

On Tuesday, the RAC held an event as part of our Machon Kaplan Summer Event Series for college students where we discussed Judaism, abortion...

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About Inside Leadership

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