RJ Blog

L’hitraot, for Now...

After four years of bringing you a new episode nearly every week, this podcast is taking a little break. Listen to this episode to learn more about our hiatus and where to find us in the meantime.

The Antidote to Kvetching

Most of us today aren’t tasked with wandering through the desert, like the ancient Israelites were... but we still find plenty to kvetch about! What if, instead of focusing on small annoyances, we turned to community-building and togetherness? This episode first aired in May 2018.

URJ Youth

Echoes of the Wilderness, Part II: A Pulse, Not a Pause

Echoes of the Wilderness, Part II: A Pulse, Not a Pause

D'Var Torah By: Cantor Josh Breitzer

jemerman
Many commentaries on Parashat Naso focus on the words of the Priestly Blessing. One aspect of the Priestly Blessing that often goes overlooked called out to me. An odd thing to say, given the fact that this portion of the blessing is literally voiceless.

Blessings and Curses – Parashat B'chukotai

Blessings and Curses – Parashat B'chukotai

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg

jemerman
The Israelites are told that blessings will flow if they live by God's rules. However, if they choose to stray from God's path, consequences will follow. Sometimes, this logic works; mitzvot lead to mitzvot and transgressions often lead to further transgressions.

On the Other Hand

Reform Jewish Leaders Applaud Supreme Court Decision Rejecting Challenge to Medication Abortion

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine rejecting an attempt to remove mifepristone from the market, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner and Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch released the following statement.

Rabbi Jonah Pesner Responds to NAACP Statement

Fundamentally, we share a yearning for an end to this war and the horrific suffering of too many innocent civilians. At the same time, many of us in the Jewish community are deeply disappointed in the statement.

RJ Blog Social Justice

Making a Jewish Ritual for my Divorce

Making a Jewish Ritual for my Divorce jemerman

In the weeks leading up to my civil divorce, I delved into Jewish tradition to see how I could mark it Jewishly. I'd been married under a chuppah with the exquisite blessings of our tradition; simply marking my divorce in the Cook County courthouse was not going to suffice.

Creating Community on World Refugee Day

Creating Community on World Refugee Day jemerman

June 20 marks World Refugee Day, which honors the experiences of refugees and celebrates their contributions to their communities and the world. The UN Refugee Agency reports that more than 114 million individuals were forcibly displaced by the end of 2023, with more than 35 million identified as refugees.

RJ Blog Jewish Life

Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community

Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community jemerman

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) in the U.S. Each of us likely knows someone, either in our Jewish community or our secular communities, who has been impacted by or is a survivor of domestic violence.

Grow a Good Citizen

Grow a Good Citizen sdolgov

Here are some ways to to make a difference by engaging voters and children.

RJ Blog Practice

Eight Hebrew Words and Phrases You Can Use Every Day!

Eight Hebrew Words and Phrases You Can Use Every Day! jemerman

Learning new words and phrases can be enjoyable, but when they're in a new language, they can also be daunting. If you'd like to build your own Jewish vocabulary, here are a few words and phrases that you can use in everyday conversation.

Take a Tour of the Torah!

Take a Tour of the Torah! jemerman

Torah usually refers to the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Running through these stories is the unique lens through which the Jewish people would come to view their world and their God.

RJ Blog Learning

You’re Invited to Remember

You’re Invited to Remember jemerman

Growing up, I saw Yizkor as a mysterious event on Yom Kippur afternoon. The grownups would return to temple in the afternoon, while my sister and I stayed home. There was no explanation, just an understanding that this was a thing our parents and grandparents did, and we did not.

Continuing Trauma, Ambiguous Commemoration, and Decisive Change: Israel’s National Days in 2024

Continuing Trauma, Ambiguous Commemoration, and Decisive Change: Israel’s National Days in 2024 jemerman

When Yom HaZikaron arrives on the eve of May 11th - 219 days since the horrific events of October 7th - we expect to still be stuck in the limbo of this ongoing nightmare.

RJ Blog Jewish Holidays

Empowering Camp Staff and Counselors to Address Difficult Questions about Israel and Beyond

Empowering Camp Staff and Counselors to Address Difficult Questions about Israel and Beyond jemerman

As we gear up for another unforgettable summer at URJ Camps - and with some camps already in full swing - we are reminded that today, more than ever, providing safe, nurturing spaces for our campers, counselors, and staff is of utmost importance.

A Message of Support

A Message of Support urjadmin

While we recognize that the deep conflict between Israelis and Palestinians will not be resolved over the summer, we believe that come the fall, college campuses must once again be safe for all students - and this includes Jewish students living their Jewish commitments openly and proudly.

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RJ Blog Israel

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Parenting