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Jane E. Herman


Make a difference sign tacked to a cork board

In the nonstop, lightning-fast busyness of life, it’s increasingly difficult to stop and just be, let alone be grateful. Of course, that’s precisely the idea behind Thanksgiving, but all too often, it seems we bring that same frenetic pace to the holiday and its preparations. From menu planning, shopping, and cooking to football, family chaos, and more, there’s never enough time to forget the chores and the to-do list and just relax.

For many, the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, and holding down multiple jobs to (barely) make ends meet mean there’s rarely any downtime....

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Young woman in profile, wearing sunglasses and earbuds

As founder and president of the Institute for the Next Jewish Future, Dan Libenson promotes disruptive innovation in Jewish life. One of the organization’s projects, Judaism Unbound, features a weekly podcast that highlights endeavors and people who are reimagining Jewish life for our times.

A few recent episodes feature Union for Reform Judaism leaders discussing their ideas about Jewish life today -- and what it might look like in the future.

“Reforming Judaism”

In two recent and consecutive episodes, Libenson and co-host Lex Rofeberg, strategic initiative coordinator of...

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Nurse/technician helping a woman have a mammogram

We were barely three days into October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when a friend sent me this private message on Facebook:

Hi. Can you put a heart on your FB wall, without comment, only a heart, and then send this message to your women contacts? This is for women to remember it’s the week of breast cancer prevention!

Without missing a beat, I drafted this response:

Sorry, I won’t do this. I am reminded about breast cancer prevention every single day – 365 days a year – each time I look in the mirror after a shower. The best things women can do to...

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Just as Sukkot ends, Reform Jews enjoy the two-in-one-day holiday of Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Here are six things to know about this day of celebration.

In Reform communities and in Israel, which generally observe one day of holidays rather than two, Sh’mini Atzeret is celebrated concurrently with Simchat Torah. In Hebrew, Sh’mini Atzeret means “eighth-day convocation.” The holiday derives its name from Leviticus 23:36, which proclaims: “On the eighth day you shall observe a holy convocation.” In biblical times, Sh’mini Atzeret was a day for Jews to reflect on the just-ended... Read More

Even though the High Holidays are over, there is still plenty of celebrating to do. Here are nine things to know about Sukkot, the holiday that follows Yom Kippur.

Sukkot is a seven-day harvest festival that begins five days after Yom Kippur, on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Tishri.This year, Sukkot begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 4. It is known by several different names: the Festival of Booths, the Season of Our Rejoicing, and the Festival of the Ingathering. The holiday commemorates the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert and lived in temporary booths after God... Read More


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