Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership
Hand adding a star to an ascending arrangement of stars
Blue return key on keyboard that says vote
Group of teens lighting Shabbat candles

When I travel, I hear many people my age ask, “Why don’t our young people join synagogues? Or give to their federations? Why don’t they stand up for Israel? Why don’t they go to Hillel?”

In short, they’re asking, why can’t they be more like us?

Indeed, the war between the boomers and the millennials has become popular fodder. But, I don’t see it as a war at all.

The job of the next generation is not to be just like us. And we in Jewish leadership would be wise to stop struggling to only fit them into old constructs within our Jewish community; rather, we must...

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URJ Biennial podium empty on stage

At the URJ Biennial in Chicago last week, the Reform Movement voted to approve a resolution supporting the study of proposals for U.S. slavery reparations. The resolution is part of the Religious Action Center and the Reform Movement's work for racial justice and comes after years of study and consultation.

Before the Biennial vote was held, RAC Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner ...

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Amy Asin standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial

Editor's note: The text that follows was presented before a live audience at the 2019 URJ Biennial on Thursday, Dec. 12.

One of my favorite cartoons addresses our comfort level with change.

In the first frame, a speaker standing at the front of a room, like me, asks people sitting in chairs, like you – “Who wants change?” Every hand is raised. In the second frame, the person at the front asks, “Who wants to change?” and not a single hand is raised. In the third frame, the speaker asks, “Who wants to lead the change?”...

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Elias Rosenfeld standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial

Editor's note: The text that follows was presented before a live audience at the 2019 URJ Biennial on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Good evening. My name is Elias Rosenfeld, and I am a 22-year-old senior at Brandeis University. When I was 6 years old, my mother looked at the growing insecurity, violence, and antisemitic assaults in our hometown of Caracas, Venezuela, and chose to legally move with my sister and myself to Miami, FL. It was a brave and love-fueled choice.

I immediately fell in love with the United States. I learned English in...

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Photo of Scroll #1052 loaned by the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London with representatives of WUPJ, EUPJ, URJ, NFTY and Kutz Camp at the URJ Biennial.

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

December 17, 2019 

A sacred artifact of Jewish history – a Torah scroll that miraculously survived destruction during the Holocaust and was cherished for decades by generations of North American Reform Jewish youth leaders at URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY – will be returned home as a symbol of the rebirth of Jewish life in Central Europe. Reform Jewish Movement leaders chanted from this remarkable Torah scroll during Shabbat worship services at the URJ Biennial, the largest...

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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.