Related Blog Posts on Advocacy, Civic Engagement, Jewish Values, NFTY, Social Justice, and Tikkun Olam

Extraordinary Ordinary Heroes

Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen
Simcha Blass, Helen Suzman, Eddie Jacobson, and Abby Stein all contributed to our world in different ways. Yet, they shared traits - commitment, integrity, resolve and an inner sense that they could make a difference.

Breathe Bravely

Tani Prell
This reflection on the theme of bravery explores the ways that the author's mixedness, Jewishness, and range of emotions are tied to what it means to her to be brave.

The Importance of Storytelling

Rabbi Maya Y. Glasser
The Jewish people love to share stories, as memory is a central Jewish value. We cannot forget what has happened to us because we must share it with future generations. The past is one of our best learning tools.

He’Brews, He’Leads

Ellie Rudee
Third-year Hebrew Union College-NYC student Jesse Epstein hopes to make Judaism more accessible, meaningful, and relevant for today’s Jewish community – through beer. He recently became the owner of Shmaltz Brewing Company, a beer-brewing brand aimed at providing community members with a mode and environment for consumption steeped in Jewish ethics, text, and tradition.

The Heroic Work of Repentance

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg
This time of year, we hear again and again about how much emphasis Judaism places on the nuances of how to address harm of all kinds. I am convinced that the steps of repentance and repair outlined by the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides make sense not only in our individual lives when we harm our coworkers, friends, family, and intimate partners, but also in reference to the communal, cultural, and national levels.

Awakening with Gratitude

Lee McPhillips Radlo
Judaism encourages us to awaken each day with thoughts of gratitude. I recite the Modeh Ani each day to thank the Divine for returning my soul. I was recently asked where our soul goes while we sleep. This poem is my response.

Two Out of Two

Yolanda Savage-Narva
As a graduate of both Tougaloo College and Jackson State University, the bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are personal to me. Since January 2022, over a dozen HBCUs have received bomb threats; several of those threats were received on the first day of Black history month. The continuous attacks on institutions of higher learning; places of worship and individual attacks are a direct threat to our everyday existence.

Taking a Breath for Life: the Union for Reform Judaism's Actions to Build Resilience

Ruben Arquilevich
On Tu Bishvat we celebrated trees and a season of new growth. I've been doing lots of thinking about trees, as I frequently do, and the role they play in providing oxygen for the planet. At the Union of Reform Judaism, we provide oxygen to our communities by creating compassionate spaces for our participants to grow and thrive. We can respond to current and future challenges by fostering resilience that reflect our Jewish values.