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  • Reform movement wants Presidents Conf. overhaul in wake of J Street rejection

    May 1, 2014 | 12:18 pm

    The Union for Reform Judaism is seeking an overhaul of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in the wake of its rejection of J Street’s bid for membership.

    The Reform group in a statement posted Thursday on its website said leaving the Presidents...

  • 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy combines science, shabbos

    February 12, 2014 | 4:12 pm

    The traditional Jewish summer camp experience isn’t for every kid. While some children thrive on outdoor activities, athletics, and arts and crafts, others have specialized interests that don’t often show up in the program of a typical sleep-away camp. 

    That’s the conclusion the...

  • 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy combines science, shabbos

    February 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    The traditional Jewish summer camp experience isn’t for every kid. While some children thrive on outdoor activities, athletics, and arts and crafts, others have specialized interests that don’t often show up in the program of a typical sleep-away camp. 

    That’s the conclusion the...

  • Rabbi Stephanie Kolin finds her strength in superheroes, from Moses to the X-Men

    February 12, 2014 | 11:22 am

    On a brisk December evening, Rabbi Stephanie Kolin stepped up to a microphone to address some 50 immigrants and advocates from a cross-section of civil rights organizations, including Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. They’d come...

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  • What makes Rabbi Rick Jacobs tick?

    By Danielle Berrin

    January 3, 2014 | 11:02 pm

    In December, 5,000 Jews from around the country gathered in San Diego for the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Biennial conference. Overseeing it all was longtime pulpit rabbi-turned-URJ president, Rabbi Rick Jacobs. In these excerpts from an interview with the Journal, he talks...

  • Reform Biennial reveals movement’s strengths, challenges

    By Danielle Berrin

    December 19, 2013 | 11:01 am

    At the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Biennial conference last week, Erev Shabbat offered a study in contrasts that perfectly illustrated the movement’s promise — and its problems.

    Just before 6 p.m., as the sun sank into San Diego Bay, nearly 5,000 conference attendees from...

  • Why won’t liberals defend Israel?

    By David Suissa

    December 18, 2013 | 11:53 am

    As I was reading about “engagement” — the new buzzword regarding Israel that came out of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial this past weekend in San Diego — I wondered: Did anyone at the convention notice the other hot word circulating regarding the Jewish state?

    This...

  • Reform biennial opens to outsiders

    December 4, 2013 | 5:19 pm

    First there was the Conservative movement’s October biennial conference, billed as “the conversation of the century” and opened up to presenters from outside the movement.

    Then came the November General Assembly of The Jewish Federations of North America, which featured a “Global...

  • Moving and Shaking: Stuart Leviton named MRJ president and TEBH holds gala

    By Ryan Torok

    October 17, 2013 | 10:57 am

    Stuart Leviton, a member of West Hollywood’s Congregation Kol Ami, was recently installed as president of Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ), the umbrella organization for brotherhoods and men’s clubs throughout Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) congregations in North America.

    His election...

  • Seminar offers a day of learning for SoCal rabbis

    By Ryan Torok

    September 3, 2013 | 11:12 am

    “Are we in a post-denominational world?” the rabbi asked. “That’s above my pay grade.”

    But the speaker, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said one thing is for sure during his keynote address at the annual seminar held by the transdenominational Board...

  • High Holy Days Q&A with Rabbi Rick Jacobs

    By Ryan Torok

    September 3, 2013 | 10:58 am

    Upon his installation as president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) last year, Rabbi Rick Jacobs promised to work toward reimagining and renovating the Reform movement by focusing on engaging young adults in Jewish life, by working with other arms of the movement in seeking...

  • Reinventing an Eternal Tradition with Rabbi Rick Jacobs

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    August 14, 2013 | 1:00 am

    I was honored to have brunch last Sunday morning with Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), along with other leaders from my congregation. I’m going to write about what he said, but first I’m going to write about how he said it.

    In the room were...

  • Oklahoma tornado: How you can help

    May 21, 2013 | 2:02 pm

    Jewish groups are joining the effort to help those displaced by the tornado in suburban Oklahoma City.

    Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, announced Tuesday that his organization will collect donations and distribute them to the American Red Cross and...

  • Conversion 101

    May 8, 2013 | 11:31 am

    Conversion to Judaism is not easy. It requires a change in beliefs, actions and lifestyle. It involves extensive study, practice, a leap of faith, a shift in perception and some sacrifice. However, for those who feel it’s the right decision, it can be an exciting and rewarding...

  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs installed as URJ president

    June 11, 2012 | 2:28 pm

    Rabbi Rick Jacobs in his formal installation as president of the Union for Reform Judaism called on the movement to “chart a new course.”

    Saturday’s installation took place at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Jacobs, 56, in his prepared remarks also urged the movement to...

  • Union for Reform Judaism fires 30 employees

    March 29, 2012 | 1:21 pm

    The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) laid off about 30 employees as part of a general restructuring of the organization.

    The reorganization is part of a series of changes being ushered in by the new president of the URJ, Rabbi Richard Jacobs, who took over at the beginning of January....

  • Cantor, Ehud Barak to address Reform biennial

    November 22, 2011 | 5:50 pm

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will address the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial.

    The URJ announced plans for Cantor (R-Va.), the highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress in history, and Barak, a former prime minister, on Tuesday.

    President Obama already is slated to speak during the biennial taking place Dec. 14-18 in the Washington suburbs.

  • An extremist coup at the Union for Reform Judaism

    April 29, 2011 | 12:45 pm

    The nomination of Rabbi Richard Jacobs to head the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is the latest coup for J Street. Less than three years after its founding,  a member of J Street’s Rabbinic Cabinet is being appointed to head the largest branch of American Judaism. With the nominee...

  • Survey says Reform rabbis don’t know what members want

    By Sue Fishkoff

    December 6, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Leaders of Reform synagogues don't quite get their members, according to a new study by the movement.

    The study shows a marked disconnect between what the leaders think their members are looking for and what the members say they actually want.

    In general, the synagogue leaders seem...

  • Where are the other Jewish anti-war voices?

    By Leonard Fein

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    On March 12, by action of its Executive Committee, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) became the first national Jewish organization to take more than a tongue-clucking position on the Iraq war.

    It did what the United States Senate has been unable to do: It voted overwhelmingly to...

  • I am ashamed of the URJ’s Iraq resolution

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I don't embarrass easily. But the Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ) recent resolution calling for an "expeditious withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq" did the trick.

    Personally, I would have preferred the URJ to stay out of the Iraq debate, beyond urging each and every Jew...

  • New commentary looks at Torah from woman’s point of view

    By Jacob Berkman

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    How many people know that when the Torah describes Abraham mourning the death of Sarah, it's the only time in the entire text that a man mourns a woman? Or that Adam and Eve were equal partners in crime? Or that women most likely were instrumental in constructing the Temple?

    Too few....

  • Reform Body Rejects Science Distortion

    By James D. Besser

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest body of religious Jews in the nation, has forcefully come out against the "politicization" of science at a time when the issue is boiling over in state legislatures, churches and classrooms.

    The strong statement came as delegates to...

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