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Chris Harrison

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Young woman wearing headphones and listening to Wholly Jewish podcast

Judaism is far from monolithic. Ever since our inception as a people, we as Jews have encompassed so many different ethnicities, cultures, perspectives, and gender and sexual identities. Through all of our beautiful differences, however, we remain united as one people. Our multifaceted identities do not negate our Jewishness; rather they strengthen, exemplify and enrich it.

Commitment to embracing our differences inspired us to create Wholly Jewish, the newest podcast offering from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). In this podcast series, we’ll explore what we all have in common...

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Collage of headshots of each of the individuals profiled in the blog post

With Black History Month upon us, a time dedicated to learning about and celebrating the accomplishments of black individuals and movements, I cannot help but wonder about how to use our sacred history to create a better future. As black Jewish leaders in particular, we are tasked to uphold our identities in the face of oppression in the pursuit of tzedek (justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world).

To gain further perspective on this, I consulted my fellow black Jewish leaders, all of whom are alumni of the Union for Reform Judaism’s JewV’Nation Fellowship, to share their...

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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This week marks Shabbat Tzedek: the Shabbat closest to Martin Luther King Jr. Day in which we remember his life and work, celebrate the victories of the civil rights movement, and reflect on what still needs to be done in the pursuit of racial justice.

However, on MLK Jr. Day, we often are presented with a sanitized, nonconfrontational version of Dr. King that is a far cry from the radical activist who was reviled during his time for his powerful justice work. Whether these misconceptions are promoted by those who are genuinely unfamiliar with Dr. King’s true history or by those...

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Woman praying with her eyes closed, hands held near her face

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, Adonai, my Rock and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14

As Reform Jews, we may recognize this beautiful and important verse not only from the Tanach, but also from our siddur (prayer book), Mishkan T’filah. Some of us might remember chanting these words in Hebrew during Shabbat services. This quote has had a long-lasting and important role in my life, going back more than a decade before I chose to convert to Judaism.

I grew up in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first independent...

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Movie still of a white woman speaking with a black man with a neon arrow shining between as at a bar

[Editor's note: This blog post contains reference to sexual assault and racism.] 

This week marks the digital and DVD release of All About Nina, a film by writer/director Eva Vives starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, 10 Cloverfield Lane) in a story inspired by some of Vives’ own experiences.

Winstead stars as Nina Geld, a stand-up comedian attempting to advance her career, find genuine connection with others, and drown out past trauma. She pursues this by picking up her life and moving from New York to Los Angeles, dating a man (Common) who is her...

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