Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

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Welcome New Student Cantor Benjamin Harris

We are delighted to announce that our new Student Cantor for next year will be Benjamin Harris, who will be entering his second year at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College (DFSSM) in September. A native of Atlanta, Ben is a graduate of the Boston University School of Music. During…Read on →

On The Attack in Orlando

There are no words to sufficiently express the depth of our shock and sadness at the horrifying massacre in Orlando, FL, early Sunday morning. This was a hate crime of unimaginable magnitude, deliberately perpetrated upon the LGBT community, resulting in the senseless death and serious injury of over 100 innocent young men and women. The Pulse night…Read on →

The Voice of a Woman

Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels. And Miriam chanted for them: “Sing to the Eternal, who has triumphed gloriously; horse and driver God has hurled into the sea.” (Exodus 15.20-21) These are the last verses of the…Read on →

Breaking News: The Kotel Belongs to Everyone!

The buzz within Israel is very loud today, particularly as it has reverberated throughout the Reform and Conservative Movements, and those in the Orthodox community as well (like the leaders and faculty of the Hartman Institute). The following is the text of the announcement released today by Women of the Wall. This is a victory…Read on →

We Too Stand with Planned Parenthood

We at Union Temple Planned share with you, and join in sentiments expressed in the Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board statement and interfaith prayer in response to the violence at the Colorado Springs health center: In the wake of the violent assault on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, our hearts go out to the…Read on →

Shofar by Alphonse Lévy

Prayer of the Heart

In these remaining days before Rosh Hashanah, I offer some thoughts from our new machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh (Sanctuary of the Soul). These thoughts are found in the Rosh Hashanah Morning Service, at the very end of the Amidah, during our moment of Silent Prayer. It is a section entitled “Prayer of the Heart.” • •…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 →

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 →

Stones of Destruction; Prayers of Comfort

This is The Night of Tishah B’av… the 9th day of Av, a day of mourning, as Jews all over the world remember the Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, first in 586 BCE at the hands of the Babylonians, and then the Romans, in 70 CE. Services are characterized by sitting on the floor in…Read on →