Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

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Prayer and Sacrifice

This week we begin our reading of the Book of Leviticus, much of which focuses on the ancient system of animal sacrifice. Within the context of the ancient world, this system was the primary modality of vicarious atonement for sins. The priests (Kohanim) would serve as divinely-appointed intermediaries. They would dash the blood of slaughtered…Read on →

Shabbat Zachor – the Sabbath of Remembrance

This coming Shabbat is Shabbat Zachor – the Sabbath of Remembrance – just preceding the celebration of Purim, which falls next Wednesday night -Thursday, March 23/24. Shabbat Zachor takes its name from three extra verses of the Torah that we read this Shabbat, in addition to the regularly scheduled portion at the beginning of Leviticus….Read on →

Images of Israel

When I joined you for this past Shabbat I had just returned from some two weeks in Israel. (Yes, I made sure to bring along the inevitable halva from The Halva King in the Machane Yehuda Shuk in Jerusalem!) This particular trip was a mission sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York, for the rabbis of…Read on →

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

We all know the expression “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” Here is a bit of a different slant. This past Sunday Steve and I attended a small gathering at the home of a rabbinic colleague in New Jersey for a send-off, if you will, for one of our colleagues who is loved…Read on →

Semone Grossman

Making His Way Around the Broken Glass

On Tuesday, November 9, 2010, Peggy Lebenson, Union Temple’s own Charlie Rose, interviewed Semone Grossman, Holocaust survivor, at our Commemoration of Kristallnacht, the concentrated attack on the Jews of Germany on this night seventy-two years before. Peggy’s format enabled Mr. Grossman to sit comfortably in our midst, speaking his harrowing story without having to stand…Read on →