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Cantor Laura Stein and Rabbi Sandy Bogin lead Shabbat worship services behind a loudspeaker

By Shabbat observance fulfills a special purpose in nursing home settings. In the residence where I serve as cantor and hospice chaplain, Shabbat marks a unique kind of transition. The week, structured with activities and sessions, makes way for a quieter time of simple togetherness. It also signals the weekend, when spouses, children, and grandchildren, off from work and school, visit their loved ones and provide companionship.

Above all, Shabbat is an anchor that connects people to a past they may fear they’re...

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Blue and silver stethoscope

These days, it seems as though a new crisis erupts in the United States every month. The COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the country in early March but was followed weeks later by a sudden rise in public awareness regarding police brutality against Black people.

As the Religious Action Center’s legislative staffer responsible for health care policy, I had been immersed in the Reform Movement’s COVID-19 response since March and was admittedly caught off guard when the news shifted almost entirely to police violence in late spring. I thought to myself, “...

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VOTE HERE sign outside a polling place where a women is walking through the doors

Voting is power. It holds our elected officials accountable and is also a mitzvah (commandment or good deed). Rabbi Hillel taught, “Do not separate yourself from the community” (Avot 2:4). But what happens when people aren’t counted, and their votes are taken away?

Every voice matters, and every vote should, too – but in many places across the U.S., restrictive laws and practices disproportionately keep People of Color from voting.

As someone who is too young to vote, I am motivated to ensure that everyone who is eligible to exercise this right does so. I live in a state...

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Multi-racial family gathered enthusiastically around a computer

When in-person summer camping couldn’t proceed due to the pandemic, the Union for Reform Judaism switched gears and rolled out RJ on the Go, an interactive platform for families seeking Jewish meaning, purpose, and joy this summer.

Choose from among the following exciting activities:

Jewish Life in Your Family Life (Ages 5-12)

Streamed live, this program introduces children and parents to a different middah (Jewish character trait).

  • Week 1, June 29-July 3: Sakranut (...
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Star of David necklace lying on an open Torah and yarmulke

This June marks 60 years since my rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. However, those six decades have not diminished my appreciation of the rabbinic mentors who symbolically escorted me to rabbinical school and upon whose shoulders I stand to this day.

My journey began when I was a 6-year-old student at Temple Rodef Sholom in Pittsburgh during Sukkot 1940. While standing on the building’s front steps, Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, the congregation’s senior rabbi, handed me a bright red apple to commemorate the...

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