Ruben Arquilevich (he/him) is the Union for Reform Judaism's vice president of URJ camps, NFTY and immersive experiences, leading teams across North America to increase engagement and strengthen URJ’s year-round youth, camp and Israel programs for people of all ages. Formerly, Ruben was the executive director of California camping and youth programs, including URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA (where he served as director for 25 years), URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy West, and 6 Points Sports Academy California, along with multiple NFTY regions. When not in the field visiting the Reform Movement's 17 camps, 19 NFTY regions, and many Israel programs, Ruben is out in nature with his wife Vivien and three children, who were all shaped by URJ immersive experiences.
As I contemplate how God manifests in our lives, I’m struck by the value of faith not only in God, nature, and other unknown universal forces, but also by faith in each other as we all strive for a life filled with meaning, purpose, and joy.
On Tu Bishvat we celebrated trees and a season of new growth. I've been doing lots of thinking about trees, as I frequently do, and the role they play in providing oxygen for the planet. At the Union of Reform Judaism, we provide oxygen to our communities by creating compassionate spaces for our participants to grow and thrive. We can respond to current and future challenges by fostering resilience that reflect our Jewish values.