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Deborah Rood Goldman

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Flatlay of green fruits and vegetables atop a green background

With Passover on the way, many of us are planning festive seder dinners and a week of eating within kosher-for-Passover restrictions. The two main themes of Passover – spring and freedom – go hand in hand with the holiday’s agricultural aspect.

This Passover, celebrate the cycle of time and nature with an approach to food that protects our environment, prioritizes good health, and lines up with Reform Jewish values. For a look at vegan living, we chatted with award-winning chef and author Mark Reinfeld, co-founder of Vegan Fusion.

ReformJudaism.org: What foods are included...

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Two wooden mailboxes covered in snow

I was rushing through the aisles of Stop and Shop on my lunch hour last Friday, having made up my mind to cook a traditional Ashkenazi Hanukkah dinner on the auspicious occasion of meeting my daughter’s boyfriend’s family for the first time. I was hosting them the next night and opted for a crowd-pleasing menu: potato soup, brisket, latkes, applesauce, and a colorful salad.

It was the fifth day of Hanukkah, and I had to be at my synagogue at 6:15 that Friday evening for our annual latkes and dessert party. It’s a popular event, and as temple president, the expected high turnout of...

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Mother and daughter having serious conversation across a table

“It is the policy of the University to respect its members' religious beliefs. In compliance with New York State law, each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs will be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study, or work requirements that he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No student will be penalized for absence due to religious beliefs, and alternative means will be sought for satisfying the academic requirements involved.”

– School of Nursing...

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Scheidt Seminar 2018 group of temple presidents

It was a “no brainer” for me to attend the URJ Scheidt Seminar for congregational presidents last month in San Diego. Because I work for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), I wasn’t sure I’d be eligible to attend. However, my supervisor approved the conference, and my colleagues encouraged me to go – knowing that as president of my congregation, Garden City Jewish Center in Garden City, NY, I would have a terrific experience. Of course, the idea of leaving New York for sunny San Diego in mid-February quickly put the kibosh on any lingering doubts.

I’m seven months into my two-year...

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Golden retriever dog

I’m a bit of an insomniac, partly due to the amount of time I spend, even in my sleep, dreaming up ways to engage young families. As president of a small congregation, it’s a constant challenge to offer excellent speakers and programs that motivate more than just us die-hard, longtime regulars to attend Friday night services.

Last October, I attended the Union for Reform Judaism’s valuable day of learning, “How Successful Congregations Embrace Change,” where we learned about Harvard Professor Marty Linsky’s view on the value of using the language of experimentation to reduce the...

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