Tagged Torah

At Reform biennial, energy, Obama and handwringing over the next generation

The 2011 biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism was the movement's biggest ever, and many participants said it was the most energetic they had ever attended, Dec. 17, 2011. (URJ)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (JTA) — The metaphors abound. To Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the next president of the Union for Reform Judaism, it’s a gas station. To Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the outgoing president, it’s an anchor. To Stephen Sacks, the incoming chairman of Reform’s board, it’s a supermarket. They’re all… Read more »

Eric Yoffie: The exit interview

NEW YORK (JTA) — At the end of this year, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of Union for Reform Judaism, will be stepping down after 16 years at the movement’s helm. Last week, Yoffie sat down with JTA Managing Editor Uriel Heilman at the URJ’s offices in New York ahead… Read more »

At Reform biennial, changes at the top, but focus on the grass roots

NEW YORK (JTA) — When more than 5,500 people gather at a massive hotel just outside Washington next week for what is slated to be the biggest-ever biennial convention of the Union for Reform Judaism, they will be taking part in a transformative moment for the organization. The longtime… Read more »

Return Torah to its place of glory

Rabbi Elie Kaunfer

I want to challenge one of the mainstay assumptions of organized Jewish life: Jewish continuity is the end goal, and everything is in service of that goal. It’s been 20 years since the release of the 1990 National Jewish Population Study, which found an unprecedented rate of intermarriage. It… Read more »

After the fire: A Torah’s trip to a secular kibbutz

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (JTA) — We land at Ben Gurion Airport in the heat of winter, on the first day of Chanukah.  At 11 a.m. Dec. 2, already it is 82 degrees in Tel Aviv — unusual weather for the rainy season in Israel. And it will get hotter. Much… Read more »

Taking seven steps to ‘Sukkot’ happiness

Waving the lulav and etrog, symbols of the fall harvest, is one way to Sukkot pleasure -- especially for kids. (Dasee Berkowitz)

NEW YORK (JTA) — But are you happy? No, this isn’t your mother wanting another update on your life. It’s not Dr. Phil’s provocative question through your TV/computer screen as you sit (safely) on your couch. And it isn’t someone reading you the Declaration of Independence wondering if you… Read more »

Sweet season: Apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Among the familiar customs of Rosh HaShanah is the dipping of apple pieces in honey — but what is its origin? King David had a “cake made in a pan and a sweet cake” (II Samuel 6: 15, 19) given to everyone. Hosea 3:1 identifies the… Read more »

Torah to get new home at Chabad on River

Chabad on River will welcome its first Sefer Torah on Sunday, April 10 at 10 a.m. with a processional from the Tucson Jewish Community Center to Chabad on River, followed by a celebratory brunch. The Torah, says Rabbi Ram Bigelman, was originally written for a yeshiva in Tiberias, Israel,… Read more »

Female scribes finish writing Torah scroll

Torah scribes Linda Coppleson, Rabbi Chana Klebansky and Rachel Reichhardt, l-r, discuss the placement of text on a panel before it is sewn onto the rest of the scroll, Oc.t 13, 2010 in Seattle. (Joel Magalnick/JT news)

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) — It took seven years to write and just a few days to sew together, but on Oct. 15 the first Torah scroll written entirely by a group of women was attached to its wooden poles and declared complete. The ceremony was held at Seattle’s Kadima… Read more »