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

Rushing to Joy

Rushing to Joy

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Andy Gordon

jemerman September 13, 2023
During the final moments of Yom Kippur, as the sun begins to set and everyone in the sanctuary glances hesitantly at their watches for the conclusion of the N'ilah service, I look forward to reading one of my favorite passages from Mishkan HaNefesh, our Yom Kippur machzor.

Standing Before the Creator

Standing Before the Creator

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Talia Avnon-Benveniste

jemerman August 30, 2023
It is Reform tradition to read the Nitzavim Torah portion during the Shacharit (morning) service on Yom Kippur. The tradition stems from the belief that standing before God with great awe and fear is not just the solitary appearance of an individual before their Creator, but also of a community who, together, are appealing to God for forgiveness and absolution before the gates of heaven close.

On the Other Hand

Reform Jewish Leader Addresses Protest for Israel’s Democracy Outside Loews Hotel in New York

On Thursday evening, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, gave a speech at the Protest for Israel's Democracy outside Prime Minister Netanyahu's hotel in New York.

The URJ’s Yolanda Savage-Narva Speaks at the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Yolanda Savage-Narva, assistant vice president of Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) for the Union for Reform Judaism, was a featured speaker at the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.

RJ Blog Social Justice

Judgment Days

Judgment Days jemerman September 21, 2023

Some label Rosh HaShanah and the period between the New Year and Yom Kippur as "Judgment Days," a time during which the trajectory of our lives for the coming year is reached.

Enhancing Mitzvot on Simchat Torah with Three Nature Crafts for Children

Enhancing Mitzvot on Simchat Torah with Three Nature Crafts for Children jemerman September 18, 2023

As summer changes to autumn in St. Louis, we seek ways to find nature-based connections...

RJ Blog Jewish Life

Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community

Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community jemerman October 28, 2022

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) in the U.S. This year, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) chose the theme of #Every1KnowsSome1 to highlight how common domestic violence is. Each of us may (or 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 August 15, 2022

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

RJ Blog Practice

Take a Tour of the Torah!

Take a Tour of the Torah! jemerman October 4, 2022

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.

Weaving Together Formal and Lived Jewish Education

Weaving Together Formal and Lived Jewish Education jemerman August 16, 2022

I'm a self-proclaimed book worm. Since I could read, my default setting has been to research anything new at the library before implementing it. However, adulthood has taught me that some of the best lessons are learned after acting and truly living, which is why Rabbi Yanklowitz's perspective so resonates with me. Even so, I always start new adventures by studying.

RJ Blog Learning

Enhancing Mitzvot on Simchat Torah with Three Nature Crafts for Children

Enhancing Mitzvot on Simchat Torah with Three Nature Crafts for Children jemerman September 18, 2023

As summer changes to autumn in St. Louis, we seek ways to find nature-based connections...

Simple Ways to Make Yom Kippur Meaningful at Home with Young Children

Simple Ways to Make Yom Kippur Meaningful at Home with Young Children jemerman September 13, 2023

As the high holidays approach, we are reminded that there are so many meaningful Jewish moments to celebrate. Within the joy and ruach (spirit) of holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah, lies the solemn and serious Yom Kippur. There are a myriad of ways to make Yom Kippur meaningful for young children, for whom especially, Yom Kippur is not an easy holiday to understand.

RJ Blog Jewish Holidays

What We Gain From Interfaith Dialogue: Project Understanding

What We Gain From Interfaith Dialogue: Project Understanding jemerman April 26, 2023

What happens when you take six Jewish teens and six Catholic teens to Israel? This was the very question that Roger Tilles and the late Fr. Tom Hartman hoped to answer in 1988 when they organized Project Understanding.

Israel at 75: Forging the Path Together

Israel at 75: Forging the Path Together jemerman April 21, 2023

In November 2006, I set out with a pack on my back to walk the Land. I knew that before I enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, I wanted a more intimate relationship with the country that I had made my home.

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RJ Blog Israel

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Parenting