Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

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Barry Oved memorial

Remembering Barry Oved on Tishah B’av

He shall be like a tree planted by waters, Sending forth its roots by a stream: It does not sense the coming of heat, Its leaves are ever fresh; It has no care in a year of drought, It does not cease to yield fruit. – Jeremiah 17.8 Thus the prophet Jeremiah speaks of the…Read on →

Ongoing Engagement

The central story of our Torah portion, Lech Lecha, the story of the scouts, is familiar to most of us. Moses was charged with assigning twelve scouts, one from each of the tribes, to go ahead of the people and scout out the land of Canaan, in order to prepare the people for the conquest as…Read on →

The WZO Elections: Great News!

I thought you would like to see the email that I received yesterday from Rabbi Joshua Weinberg and Rabbi Bennett Miller, Director and President of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, ARZA. Our hard work has paid off. Now, for the REAL work of raising our voice in Israel even louder. To all of you who…Read on →

Kabbalat Shabbat and the Hills of Tzefat

As you know, a little less than a decade ago, we at Union Temple began including an introductory segment at the beginning of our Shabbat Evening Services. This segment is called Kabbalat Shabbat, Welcoming (literally “receiving”) Shabbat, and is relatively standard now at the beginning of most Reform congregations’ Friday Evening Services, as it has…Read on →

A Stroke of Luck

This past Thursday was Lag Ba’omer, and here in Israel, there was great rejoicing – bonfires, weddings, and music. By pure coincidence, our tour group struck a lucky, unplanned moment by happening upon a great celebration. We had spent the day in the Old City of Jerusalem, as we stepped back through some 3,000 years…Read on →

Israel…Wonderful, and Complicated

It’s wonderful; and, it’s also complicated. . . . It is the end of a long but wonderful day – the first full day of our journey on our Breadth of Israel Tour. When we arrived last night we gathered for our opening dinner at a very special restaurant in the cultural heart of Tel…Read on →

A God of War or a God of Peace? *

Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea, is the centerpiece of our Torah portion this week. “I will sing to the LORD for He has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider He has hurled into the Sea.” (Exodus 15.1) From the outset, God is portrayed as a mighty warrior. Adonai ish milchamah, Adonai Shemo. (Exodus 15.2)…Read on →

A Stain Upon the Land

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for blood that is shed upon it, except by the blood of him who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I Myself abide, for I…Read on →

We Are Jews

Destructive Proclamation. . . Last Wednesday, Knesset Member David Rotem, leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party and Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset, stood on the Knesset floor and declared Reform Jews not to be Jews, and Reform Judaism to be a different religion. This is the same David…Read on →

Women at the Kotel

Chodesh Tov! This is our greeting to each other today on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new month. Today begins the month of Kislev, during which, of course, we will celebrate Chanukah (25 Kislev) – our festival of light and freedom. The number 25 for this particular Rosh Chodesh Kislev is most auspicious…Read on →