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Posed photo the The Soul Children and director Walt Whitman posing with the staff of Am Shalom synagogue

Rabbi Steven Stark Lowenstein, who has served as senior rabbi of Am Shalom on Glencoe, IL, since 2002, is the author of two books: For the Love of Being Jewish (2010) and For the Love of Israel (2012).

I sat down to talk to him about his special relationship with Dr. Walt Whitman and his celebrated youth gospel choir,...

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Notebook lying in a pile of autumn ephemera with the words GIVING TUESDAY written in red

Counter all the consumerism of Black Friday by participating in #GivingTuesday, an annual day of global giving that this year falls on December 3.

#GivingTuesday provides a unique forum to collectively draw on the principles of tikkun olam – repair of the world – by volunteering, advocating, and providing financial support to the work of the broader Reform Jewish community.

This #GivingTuesday, give back in one or more ways that are meaningful to you and support causes and organizations whose work you value:

1. Make a... Read More

The author thanking one of the many people responsible for his morning coffee

A.J. Jacobs has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor, and a dash of self-help. He is also editor-at-large at Esquire magazine and a commentator on National Public Radio. I sat down with A.J. to talk about the lessons he’s learned about thankfulness from his over-the-top social experiments.

ReformJudaism.org: For your first book, The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, you read all 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia...

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Blue police booth on a London street

When new characters in the long-running British science fiction show, “Doctor Who,” step into the show’s time machine, TARDIS, they generally gasp and gape and say: It’s bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside!” Indeed, the innocent looking, iconic big blue police box transcends ordinary experience; it is a portal that can take you anywhere in time and space.

I have been a fan of the show for many years, but until recently, I did not really understand what it felt like to travel on the TARDIS.

It was the second night of...

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Small child holding an Israeli flag being carried on his father's shoulders

Jewish tradition is filled with questions.  

Scouring the Garden of Eden, God called out to the primeval Earthling: “Where are you?” 

Abraham brazenly challenged God: “But if there are 50 righteous people, will You still destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?”  

In Isaiah’s transcendent vision of a prophet’s being summoned to Divine service, God demands: “Who will go for us?”  

Hillel forces an immediacy to his moral imperatives by saying: “And if not now, then when?” 

And in the Haggadah, the troubled child asks: “But what does all of this have to do with me...

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