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Large group of people holding signs that say REFORM JEWS WELCOME IMMIGRANTS

Editor's Note: On November 19, Reform Jews met outside of an immigration court in San Antonio, TX, to protest the administration’s unjust “Remain in Mexico” policy and its attacks on immigrants and the asylum process. Rabbi Mara S. Nathan spoke in front of the court, sharing why, as Jews, it’s our duty to welcome the immigrant and stand up for injustice:

Even before our country’s inception, people came to our shores looking for economic opportunity and freedom from oppression. Sometimes that oppression has been religious, sometimes it has been racial,...

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cemetery with flowers in the foreground

I’ve often wondered what it is like to be buried in the Garden of Sharon, the Jewish cemetery that is a part of the much larger non-denominational Forest Lawn facility in Long Beach, California.

For my late parents, Bernie and Selma Cooperman, who are buried together in this space, it means being part of the neighborhood of Jewish families, many of whom have known each other for decades. The cemetery is filled with local people and their relatives whom I knew personally from my childhood onward.

I grew up in Long Beach and got to know many of my peers whose parents and...

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Knitted rainbow kippah resting on a rainbow flag

I am queer.

I’ve known this in my bones for as far back as I can remember, but I never knew whether I should ignore it, hide it, or try to pray it out – because in the Catholic community in which I grew up, openly queer people were seen as “looking for attention” or “causing trouble.”

For a long time, I didn’t know why I was so uncomfortable in the boys’ bathroom or why I felt so fake when I was asked to play with the “other boys.” As a child, I didn’t have the vocabulary to understand this, and there wasn’t much insight on gender expansiveness from my religious community...

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Racially segregated water fountains in the south

I was 23 in the summer of 1961 and President Kennedy had been in office six months, when I asked my rabbi, Albert Lewis, z”l, of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, CA, if he thought I should join the Freedom Riders, the civil rights activists who rode interstate buses in mixed racial groups to challenge the unlawful practice of segregated seating in Southern states.

Rabbi Lewis, whom I admired for his belief that God, justice, and right behavior are inseparable, replied, “Phil, if I were in your...

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voting in israel

Want to help Progressive Judaism increase its political clout in Israel? You can do so by participating in the 2020 World Zionist Congress (WZC) election, which run from January 21 to March 11, 2020 (MLK Day to Purim). These elections are held only every five years, and your vote for the ARZA slate will give the liberal Jewish community in Israel the opportunity to receive significant funds for Reform institutions and programs. You can also help mobilize others in your...

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