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Members of the Women's Rabbinic Network at a museum exhibit about Regina Jonas

God has placed abilities and callings in our hearts, without regard to gender. Thus each of us has the duty, whether man or woman, to realize those gifts God has given. -- Rabbi Regina Jonas, in the German newspaper Centra-Verein-Zeitung, June 23, 1938

I’m at that point in my rabbinate where many students I taught as children are now adults. One of my first bat mitzvah students, for example, started medical school this fall. Although I can’t take credit for her accomplishment – there is no scenario in which she would not...

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Hands of a person who is wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) holding a yahrzeit candle

It was my turn to lead the Torah study discussion at our local synagogue  that Shabbat. We were studying Vayeira (Genesis 21-22), in which Isaac is born and Hagar and her son are cast out of Abraham’s clan and into the desert. Abraham takes Isaac, his other son, to Mount Moriah, purportedly to offer him as a sacrifice to the God who had found Abraham just a few chapters earlier.

I’d spent...

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Close up of a Yahrzeit candle

We sat in the back. We were 13 years old, itchy, tired, and we didn’t want to be there. We were anxious to leave our seats— we sat in the back to sulk, to count on our fingers how many more Saturday morning services we would have to endure before we could check the box for our b’nei mitzvah. We picked at our nails, but we sang the blessings because we loved them even still. The minutes limped along. We shifted in our dresses and our ballet flats that were getting a little too small. Our stomachs rumbled as we waited for kiddush and we sat in the back of the room.   They also sat in the...

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Group of people sitting at a table inside a sukkah

During Sukkot this year, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism worked with Reform congregations across North America to host immigrant justice events in the sukkah. Congregations from coast to coast welcomed immigrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees to be guests in their sukkot and to share their stories. Here are a few reports from congregations that held these moving events.

In California...

Writes Jeff Winfield of ...

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Scene from the movie: three actors (two men and one woman) sitting in a grassy field

Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms is a superbly directed, thinly plotted, challenging, provocative new film that was nominated for four Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of an Oscar.

In lesser hands, the story of Yoav, a 20-something Israeli escaping what he considers an oppressive society by moving to Paris, would be a sophomoric tale of the disillusioned ex-soldier. But by punctuating his film with arresting images and absurd vignettes, writer-director Lapid has conjured up an intriguing portrayal of the consummate outsider.

Yoav, played with frenetic intensity by newcomer Tom...

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