Related Blog Posts on Racial Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Jewish Values, Jews of Color, and Spirituality

Choosing Hope in Times of Trial

David Arnow
December 6, 2021
From Covid and climate change to the erosion of democratic norms and the decline of a shared sense of truth (and the list could go on), two things are clear. First, are we living in an age that tests our ability to sustain hope. Second, if despair dominates hope, we will be unable to meet the challenges that beset us.

Reimagining Hanukkah Gift-Giving

Dasee Berkowitz
November 18, 2021
There are a lot of creative ways to make Hanukkah meaningful when we pause to ask ourselves a few good questions before automatically going into shopping mode.

Reflecting on Transgender Awareness Week in 2021

Hannah Bender
Eliana Rubin
Kelly Whitehead
Rachel Klein
November 16, 2021
Transgender Awareness Week is a chance to educate the public. It is important for people who are not part of the trans community to understand the oppression transgender and gender-expansive people face every day. While it is always important to affirm trans identities, Transgender Awareness Week provides an opportunity to center the voices of trans and gender-expansive people.

A Jewish Approach to Transgender Awareness Week

Ariel Tovlev
November 9, 2021
After services one Friday night, I was approached by a woman and child I had not seen before. The woman knew I was a rabbinical student, and said she had an important question to ask me. Then, slowly, trying to find the right words, she said, “Let’s say there was someone who was born female but realized they were male—a female to male transgender person. Would that person be able to have a bar mitzvah? Is that something Judaism would allow?”

Cultivating a Shmita Mindset with our Screens

Dasee Berkowitz
November 1, 2021
Limiting the time we are on our devices and setting an intention about what we do there are small steps that can alter our relationship to the digital world. By committing to these changes in our day-to-day lives, we can more readily guide our kids to do the same.

A Letter to My Charlottesville Congregation

Rabbi Tom Gutherz
October 27, 2021
I write this as the Sines vs. Kessler trial commences. This long-awaited lawsuit seeks to hold the organizers of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally accountable for their actions. Bone-chilling evidence will be presented in this trial that will make us realize how close we came to experiencing an even greater tragedy than the death of Heather Heyer and the wounding of so many others.

7 Jewish Endeavors to Make 5782 a Sweet New Year

Chaim Ezra Harrison
September 13, 2021
It’s a long-standing custom for Jews to wish one another a “sweet new year” on Rosh Hashanah; to hope that this coming year will be one filled with joy, fulfillment, and an abundance of blessings. However, Judaism isn’t a path focused simply on wishing for good things; if our goal is to make each year “sweeter” than the last, we must work to make it happen.

The URJ Reflection Project: Go Deeper on “The Spiritual”

Rabbi Esther L. Lederman
Rabbi Leora Kaye
August 15, 2021
As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals.