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

The Eternal Embrace of Song

The Eternal Embrace of Song

D'Var Torah By: Cantor Evan Kent

jstern September 12, 2021
On the last day of his life,  Moses sings a song to the gathered Israelites. For thirty-one chapters in Deuteronomy, Moses has told the Israelites how to behave, what God expects from them, and how to lead a life filled with blessing and absent of curses. With his final breath, Moses teaches with song.

Be Strong…

Be Strong… jstern September 5, 2021

In this week’s Torah portion, we are witness to Moses’ final day on earth. He is 120 years old and knows that he will not be entering the Promised Land.

On the Other Hand

Reform Movement Leaders Deplore New Texas Anti-Abortion Law

We denounce, in the strongest terms, the law that went into effect today in Texas, effectively making abortion care illegal in that state.

Statement from the Union for Reform Judaism and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism on the Passing of Rabbi Richard Hirsch

The Union for Reform Judaism, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the entirety of the Reform Movement mourn the passing of Rabbi Richard Hirsch. As one of the giants of Reform Jewish life in the second half of the 20th Century, his work shaped Reform Judaism in the U.S., Israel and throughout the world until his death – just a month shy of his 95th birthday.

RJ Blog Social Justice

Creation, Chaos, and Children

Creation, Chaos, and Children jstern September 17, 2021

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. God said: “Let there be light.” And there was light.

Sukkot Breads in Fall Colors

Sukkot Breads in Fall Colors jstern September 13, 2021

Decorate your Sukkot table with Ethiopian, North African, and Sephardi breads full of fall colors and tantalizing spice mixes and broaden our palates to the customs of worldwide Jewish communities. Laden with seasonal honey, pumpkin, or orange, they don’t need braiding, and they make perfect gifts.

RJ Blog Jewish Life

Why We Need a “Spiritual Co-conspiratorship” for Justice

Why We Need a “Spiritual Co-conspiratorship” for Justice jstern July 12, 2021

During the 2020 uprising for Black lives, Yehudah was the lead organizer of the 40 Days of Teshuvah action that created a space of mourning the destruction of Black communities and crying out to the Heavens for spiritual co-conspiratorship in the fight for racial justice.

Social Justice in My Bones

Social Justice in My Bones

D'Var Torah By: Cantor Evan Kent

jstern June 16, 2021
This week’s parashah deals with all forms of justice: establishment of courts, rules for bearing witness, laws of military engagement, and treatment of captives. Its most quoted line, particularly in the Reform Movement, is Deut. 16:20 - “Tzedek, Tzedek tirdof” (Justice, Justice shall you pursue).

RJ Blog Practice

The URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual”

The URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual” kbkaput August 15, 2021

As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals.

Our Needs Are a Gift of God

Our Needs Are a Gift of God jstern May 26, 2021

This prayer from Birkot HaShachar, the traditional morning blessings, reminds us to be grateful when we awake for every day.

RJ Blog Learning

Sukkot Breads in Fall Colors

Sukkot Breads in Fall Colors jstern September 13, 2021

Decorate your Sukkot table with Ethiopian, North African, and Sephardi breads full of fall colors and tantalizing spice mixes and broaden our palates to the customs of worldwide Jewish communities. Laden with seasonal honey, pumpkin, or orange, they don’t need braiding, and they make perfect gifts.

7 Jewish Endeavors to Make 5782 a Sweet New Year

7 Jewish Endeavors to Make 5782 a Sweet New Year jstern September 13, 2021

It’s a long-standing custom for Jews to wish one another a “sweet new year” on Rosh Hashanah; to hope that this coming year will be one filled with joy, fulfillment, and an abundance of blessings. However, Judaism isn’t a path focused simply on wishing for good things; if our goal is to make each year “sweeter” than the last, we must work to make it happen.

RJ Blog Jewish Holidays

Why Israel’s Next Government Gives Me Hope

Why Israel’s Next Government Gives Me Hope jstern June 15, 2021

On Sunday, Israel’s Knesset narrowly voted in Israel’s 36th government with Naftali Bennett as the nation’s 13th prime minister, unseating the incumbant Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Ethical Conundrum of a Jewish and Democratic State

The Ethical Conundrum of a Jewish and Democratic State jstern June 8, 2021

When the State of Israel was established in 1948, its secular founders envisioned a nation that would be both Jewish and attuned to the values of liberal democracy. They were confident that a country with an overwhelming Jewish majority could maintain a Jewish character and ensure civic equality for all its inhabitants.

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