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Cantor Rosalie Boxt

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Closeup of pews

The purpose of this webinar, “Inclusive Worship for Clergy – A Discussion,” was to provide our communities with ideas and broader thinking around disabilities inclusion – particularly in worship and prayer settings. Whether or not you’re a member of the clergy, we hope it will answer some of your questions about disabilities inclusion and provide best practices that you can adapt in ways that are right for your settings – some simple, respectful principles and approaches to make it possible for all to feel welcome and able to access prayer.

This discussion was originally recorded...

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Assorted coats hanging on hangers on a coat rack

We’re looking forward to the Union for Reform Judaism's 2017 Biennial from December 6-10 in Boston, where 5,000 Reform Jews will gather for the largest Biennial ever. For those who are unable to attend in person, there will be numerous opportunities to connect through live stream broadcasts, social media, and with an inspiring act of tzedakah (using money to do the work of world-repair or, literally, justice).

In Parashat Vayeishev, which we will read during the Shabbat of Biennial, we learn about Joseph, whose beautiful coat of many colors is ruined when it is smeared with blood...

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Child's finger pointing to page in haggadah

“Mom, what’s with the four dozen green onions?”

“They’re for the seder table – go put one at each place, please.”

Yes, at my seder, our hands smell like green onions – not like sliced apples and cinnamon. For many years, my family (and my extended family) has taken up our scallions during “Dayenu” and proceeded to beat each other gently (well, not the children) during the song’s chorus. We borrowed this custom – representing slave beatings – from the Jewish communities of Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq.

During years of having seder with my sister and brother-in-law (...

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The familiar refrain of the Hashkiveinu prayer, with music composed by Craig Taubman, surprised me, coming as it did in the midst of the traditional mincha/ma’ariv (afternoon/evening) service at Congregacao Israelita Paulista (CIP) – called “Tzipi” by the locals – in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Hashkiveinu, Adonai Eloheinu, l’shalom… Grant, O God, that we lie down in peace…

Only after more chanting did we sing the rest of the melody:

Ushmor tzeiteinu uvo-einu… Guard our going and our return…

The daily mincha/ma’ariv service at CIP was being led by the...

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