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congregational life

Microphone at the front of a large room; background of photo is blurred

Even though the Jewish people are known as the “People of the Book,” sometimes our sacred stories can seem virtually inaccessible to us.

Rabbi Jessica Lenza
Lit Hanukkah candles in the foreground; out of focus hanukkiyah in the background

Coming so soon after the massive trauma in Pittsburgh, how would Hanukkah be felt in the hearts and spirits of the people there?

Alden Solovy
Rabbi Lynne Downey Goldsmith and congregants celebrating in the sukkah in Dothan, AL

It is not easy to be Jewish in a remote area in which Jews are a minority and there are no nearby Jewish communities, but we did the best we could.

Rabbi Lynne Downey Goldsmith
Congregants welcoming Shabbat with arms linked together

There’s nothing unique about my grief following the murders in Pittsburgh except that the fear imbedded in it is new to me.

Pam Chernoff
Jeff Erlanger in his electric wheelchair reading Torah from the pulpit

In building the ramp, we felt we had been true to the Talmudic maxim Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh, “All Jews are responsible for one another."

Rabbi Kenneth Roseman
Damage caused to cemetery fence by a tree that fell during Hurricane Florence

Rabbi Emily Losben-Ostrov was new to her congregation in Wilmington, NC, when she faced an unprecedented challenge: a Category 4 hurricane during the Days of Awe.

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Rubins vase as described in this article

Our realities are, to a degree, relative.

Chris Harrison
Man using a yad to read from an unfurled Torah scroll on a table as members look on

On Simchat Torah, I watch as the Torah scroll is carefully unfurled onto a series of long connected tables – the text so much more than designs scattered on parchment.

Rabbi Linda Joseph
View of empty pews from pulpit with an open book (Bible) on it

For more than 50 years, High Holiday sermons were consequential both for the rabbi and the congregation. Why has the Reform preaching tradition waned?

Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D.
Three stained glass windows bearing Stars of David against an all black background

A former synagogue member wondered, “How would being a member make my life better or different?” Even as a congregational rabbi, I admit that I struggled to answer her question.

Rabbi Paul Kipnes


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