Vote For ARZA

December 19, 2014

Please vote for ARZA in the World Zionist Organization elections to help Reform Judaism on the world Jewish scene.
ARZA is the Association of Reform Zionists of America.  From January 15, 2015 through April 30, 2015, the World Zionist Organization will hold open voting for all Jews to help shape its agenda, including issues affecting both Diaspora Jews and the state of affairs in Israel.  The world Zionist Organization provides a forum for all the world’s Jews to come together and deliberate about critical issues.

Every Jew has the opportunity to vote for the platform that most aligns with their personal views.
A vote for ARZA – Representing Reform Judaism is a vote for:
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality:  We strive to create a world in which gender equality is the rule – where men and women can pray, work and live together as equals deserving of the same respect and honor.
Religious Equality: We envision and work for a society in which all denominations are treated fairly and with respect – and all of us are seen as Jews, regardless of our level of observance.
Regional Security:  Lasting peace, security and stability for Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East region is possible and although the road may be long, we are building the path to peach every day.

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Tell Me

December 16, 2014


Do you remember that scene in the movie Mary Poppins when Jane and Michael jump into Burt-the-chimney-sweep’s chalk paintings on the pavement and actually become part of the scene depicted?

I have had one experience in my life where I felt like I stepped into a story. I was in my junior year of college, which I spent studying at the University of Bristol in England. I met my father in Amsterdam for a weekend while he was there for business. As you may know or remember, my mother is Dutch and her entire family is from Amsterdam. When I took this trip, it was my first time in The Netherlands. I took a flight from London, arrived at the Schipol airport outside Amsterdam and boarded a train to the center of the city. I sat on the train…and was devastated to look at the faces around me. I recognized these strangers. They looked like my relatives, the ones I knew, and the ones I only knew through pictures. I felt I could be one of them. I was devastated to feel in that moment that I might be experiencing in some small measure how it looked, the scene, to be on a very different train in the 1940s as the Jews, some of my family members, were transported away from Amsterdam. At the same instant, I knew I could be looking at faces that were not Jewish, and I wondered how those faces would have looked upon that scene of the Jews being rounded up and forced to board that train.

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Black Lives Matter, All Live Matter: A Week Since the “Die-In”

December 14, 2014

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

It’s a week since I participated in a “Die-In” rally that, in the wake of the Ferguson and Staten Island grand jury decisions, was organized to stop post-game Eagles traffic for 4 1/2 minutes and give participants the chance to peacefully stand together against racism.  The event was organized by POWER our multi-faith community organizing coalition of which RS is a part.

I am grateful to POWER for organizing such a peaceful, vision-filled event that promoted social change, justice, equality and collaboration.  I am grateful for Rabbi Freedman’s leadership in our connection to POWER.  And I am grateful to the Police for being a part of that collaboration.  POWER had communicated with the police ahead of time, so the police were ready to protect and support us.  The minute I came out of the subway station, an officer saw that I looked disoriented, and gave me directions to the corner where the 200 people were gathering for the rally.  Only in America, Read the rest of this entry »

Creating Our Own Narratives: Thanksgiving, Jacob and Ferguson

December 2, 2014

I imagine many of you are familiar with the traditional story of Thanksgiving that you learned about in kindergarten where, in 1621, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people came together to give thanks and share a meal. However, not many of you may be aware of the events that led to the first official “Day of Thanksgiving.”

As a holiday, Thanksgiving began in 1637 when it was proclaimed by governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to celebrate the safe return of the men who had gone to fight against the Pequot in Mystic, Conn. The fighting led to the enslavement and massacre of over 700 men, women, and children from the New England-based tribe, a bloody precursor to what would be centuries of strife for native peoples in the U.S.

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From Tel Aviv to Ramallah: A Beatbox Journey Performance

December 1, 2014



Check out this preview video.


On Wed., Dec. 3rd from 7pm to 9pm, human beatbox master Yuri Lane and Muslim video artist DJ Sharif Ezzat perform “From Tel Aviv to Ramallah: A Beatbox Journey,” a genre-smashing hip-hop travelogue of peace. In partnership with Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American Jewish History. Tickets $10, $5 for Rodeph Shalom members and TUID holders.

For tickets:

Watch the video: