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“I need you to show up in Trenton.” Those eight simple words are how it all started. In 2006, State Senator Loretta Weinberg shared these words with a group of New Jersey Reform Jews at the URJ Biennial. She was reflecting on the Reform Movement’s values of welcoming the stranger and helping the most vulnerable in our communities. Senator Weinberg said that if putting these values into practice was what we desired in New Jersey, then we needed to be present at the State Capitol. We had to build relationships with our state legislators and find partners who were advocating for a more just...

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Voting booths

Kathryn and I began our social justice journeys with the URJ. We grew up in NFTY and attended URJ summer camps, we served on the NFTY North American Board, and we currently sit on the Commission on Social Action. Alongside the URJ, we’ve learned to organize communities, build coalitions, and speak truth to power. 

Our Jewish tradition called us to pursue a more whole and just world, but we knew that we could never accomplish it alone. In the aftermath of the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, Kathryn recognized that the only way to create change was to do it in partnership with...

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Blue and silver stethoscope

    These days, it seems as though a new crisis erupts in the United States every month. The COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the country in early March but was followed weeks later by a sudden rise in public awareness regarding police brutality against Black people.

As the Religious Action Center’s legislative staffer responsible for health care policy, I had been immersed in the Reform Movement’s COVID-19 response since March and was admittedly caught off guard when the news shifted almost entirely to police violence in late spring. I thought to myself...

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VOTE HERE sign outside a polling place where a women is walking through the doors

    Voting is power. It holds our elected officials accountable and is also a mitzvah (commandment or good deed). Rabbi Hillel taught, “Do not separate yourself from the community” (Avot 2:4). But what happens when people aren’t counted, and their votes are taken away?

Every voice matters, and every vote should, too – but in many places across the U.S., restrictive laws and practices disproportionately keep People of Color from voting.

As someone who is too young to vote, I am motivated to ensure that everyone who is eligible to exercise this right does so. I live in a...

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Israeli flag

This moment requires a strong moral voice.

The Union for Reform Judaism and Central Conference of American Rabbis have undergone a process with our respective leadership, listened to experts, worked closely with our beloved Israeli Movement, our partners at the Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), and consulted with leaders across North America.

As a Movement that puts Ahavat Yisrael as one of its highest values and with our deep commitment to Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state, we must strongly...

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