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Rabbi Rick Jacobs


Smiling image of Rudi Scheidt sitting outdoors

On Sunday morning, the Reform Jewish Movement lost one of our giants. Rudi E. Scheidt Sr. was 95 years old when he died peacefully at home in Memphis, TN.

His life was long, and it was good. Rudi was a leader’s leader, both in Memphis and well beyond – generous, humble, wise, principled, determined, and joyful, with an ever-present, mischievous twinkle in his eye. And his leadership was felt in every part of our Reform Movement, which he loved with all his heart and soul.

Rudi served as president of his beloved Temple Israel in Memphis and began his leadership on our URJ...

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Closeup of a seder plate and a table setting

Each year on Passover, we ask “Mah nishtanah,” “Why is this night different?” This year, though, we know why: Pesach 5780 is simply unlike any other.

As the global pandemic of COVID-19 changes life on planet Earth, there is simply no way that our holiday observance could resemble years past. Physical distancing, sheltering-in-place, and pervasive fears are significant obstacles to making Pesach happen at all, let alone embracing it as a time of joy and renewal.

But we are a resilient and imaginative community. We have faced challenges at almost every turn throughout our...

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Closeup of a hand holding a red marker above a checklist

Editor's Note: Given the rapidly evolving nature of the spread of coronavirus, this post is now outdated. For more updated information and resources on this topic, see "How Reform Congregations are Coping with COVID-19 (and Tools to Help)," which is being continually updated as additional resources and expert recommendations become available.

As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world, our Jewish communities are understandably on high alert, with questions about what the virus is, how it spreads, and how we can prepare for the possibility of its impact on our...

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Greetings from Tel Aviv, where I am wrapping up an extraordinary 10 days in Israel. Restored and energized by the trip, I'm writing to share an urgent and relevant appeal regarding the World Zionist Congress (WZC), often known as the Parliament of the Jewish people.

The election for the 2020 World Zionist Congress is open for another two weeks, and a strong showing by the “Vote Reform” slate is critical. (Learn more about the election logistics here.)

Why It Matters So Much

Last Friday night, I spoke at a Reform congregation on Kibbutz Gezer, whose modest yet beautiful...

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaking at a podium before a rally with a sign that reads NO HATE NO FEAR

Editor's note: The text that follows was presented before attendees at the NYC Solidarity March and Rally on Jan. 5, 2020, before Rabbi Jacobs and his rabbinic colleagues offered Psalm 121 and 130.

Throughout Jewish history, in every place where we Jews have lived we have turned to Psalms or Tehillim to express the deepest yearnings of our hearts.

Before you today are rabbis from across the spectrum of Jewish belief and practice. We don’t all believe, practice, and think alike but today we stand as one. My colleagues and I stand united in our love for all of our people from...

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