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Sam Rubin


Young people pose and smile

I’m immensely proud of the young adult communities that have flourished and found followings outside the walls of their congregations…. These programs – dinners, learning sessions, real relationships with clergy, innovative payment models – are answering the call to serve our young people every day of the week.

But here’s the opportunity: these programs are separate. Our ponds don’t yet have streams that connect them. It’s time for the URJ to connect, expand, and enhance these separate communities into a North American network.

-- Rabbi Rick Jacobs, A River Flows from Eden...

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The author standing in front of a synagogue in Poland

As a Reform Jew growing up in suburban New York, anti-Semitism seemed as removed from my own experience as Sunday school stories of Jonah and the Whale.

No matter the lessons of “Never Again,” no matter the concentration camp films, no matter Elie Wiesel and the mandatory Holocaust education in my public school, my own experience was one of complete acceptance in American society. When these efforts would end in a pitch for my contemporary support of Israel, I couldn’t make the connection: Why do these past events, so long ago, require my action today?

Even worse, as I...

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