reform jewish service

How an Asian Convert to Judaism became Unlikely Leader of Unusual Synagogue


What do a Japanese rabbi, a Korean church and a Chinese restaurant have in common? For Temple Isaiah of Great Neck, on Long Island, N.Y., the answer’s no punch line. The three components have all played a crucial role in the congregation’s colorful 46-year history. For 37 years, this Reform congregation held the majority of […]

L.A. Rabbis Publish Open Letter Urging Calm and Respect at Western Wall

A group of rabbinical leaders in Los Angeles spanning the denominational spectrum published an open letter Thursday calling for calm at the Western Wall, as tensions are expected there this Sunday when Women of the Wall hold their monthly prayer service. The Task Force on Jewish Unity, comprised of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Progressive and Reconstructionist […]

US Conservative, Reform Leaders Praise Kotel Plan

American Orthodox organizations offered muted responses to a proposal announced yesterday by Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky to create an egalitarian prayer area for non-Orthodox services at the Western Wall. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Sharansky said that he saw no reason not to implement a solution in which “all the Wall will […]

Sarah Silverman Applauds Sister for Praying at Kotel

American Jewish comedienne Sarah Silverman had high praise for her sister Monday, hours after Rabbi Susan Silverman was one of 10 women arrested for conducting prayers services at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, in contravention of an Israeli legal ruling. “SO proud of my amazing sister @rabbisusan & niece @purplelettuce95″, Sarah Silverman tweeted on Monday. Click […]

‘Yeshiva Students Can’t be Dragged Out of Studies’

The haredi United Torah Judaism party garnered a historic seven-seat haul in Tuesday’s election, but may nevertheless find itself outside the coalition in the next government. Speaking on Kol Yisrael Radio, senior UTJ MK Moshe Gafni said that his party had a “clear platform” and that if other coalition parties couldn’t live with its principles, […]

The “War of the Wall” Secret Weapon

It’s easy to dismiss the antics of Warrior of the Wall Anat Hoffman. Her guerrilla gatherings of women in vocal prayer services at the Kosel Maaravi, or Western Wall, in defiance of an Israeli Supreme Court decision and in affront to the traditional Jewish men and women who most frequent the prayer site, are legend. […]

Draft Reform Advocates Angry Over Haredi Delay

In a response to a High Court of Justice petition ahead of a hearing on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said that it will start drafting haredi men reaching the age of military service only in the summer and “in a gradual manner” over a period of two years. In addition, the state said in its […]

Texting Teshuva in Shul: Tech Savvy or Tacky?

There was undoubtedly more texting in shul this Rosh Hashanah than in past years. In most liberal congregations texting was likely done as discreetly as possible; often with a cellphone hidden low in one’s lap. In some congregations the texting may have been done more overtly outside in the synagogue lobby or perhaps outside the […] Newsletter Issue # 36 – June 27, 2012

Forty years ago this past week, Rabbi Sally Priesand was ordained as a Reform rabbi,thus making her the first woman rabbi to be ordained after the Holocaust. And in the years that followed, the Conservative movement continued to ordaining women, Recently Modern Orthodoxy has given women new leadership roles. While the government tries to find […]

For First Time, Israel to Recognize Reform and Conservative Rabbis

In an unprecedented move, Israel has announced that it is prepared to recognize Reform and Conservative community leaders as rabbis and fund their salaries. Rabbis belonging to either stream will be classified as “rabbis of non-Orthodox communities.” The attorney general advised the High Court that the state will begin equally financing non-Orthodox rabbis in regional […] Newsletter Issue # 32 – May 30, 2012

Two bronze sculptures created by artist Sigalit Landau have been stolen from the yard of an art collector in Herzliya. The two statues, “Vomitus-Narcisus,” created in 2007, and “Stranded on a Watermelon in the Dead Sea,” from 2009, were both placed in the collector’s yard during the past year. Each of the sculptures, which were […]

Women’s Strides Spotlighted this Spring at Reform Movement’s Graduations, Ordinations

This month marks 40 years since the ordination of the first woman rabbi in America. And the Reform Movement is doing some serious celebrating. Not only was the history-maker herself­­­ ­ –– Rabbi Sally Priesand –– the Special Guest at the New York Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s ordination ceremony earlier this month, but […]

‘Revolutionary’ Law to Change Rules of Marriage

A marriage registration reform bill that would allow couples to register for marriage in the jurisdiction of their choice – regardless of where they reside – passed its first reading in the Knesset late Monday night. MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) proposed the bill, while MK Faina Kirschenbaum’s (Yisrael Beytenu) separate bill addressing similar issues was […]

Temple Jacob in Hancock Michigan Celebrates its Centennial Anniversary

Temple Jacob in Hancock, Michigan will mark its centennial anniversary with a 3 day celebration August 9–12, 2012.  This historic building, at the north end of the Portage Lift Bridge separating Houghton and Hancock, has its roots in the copper mining boom of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.   Preparations are under way for this once in a […]

Hotels Discriminating Against Reform Jews?

Representatives of the non-Orthodox Jewish movements in Israel have complained to the tourism minister and the minister of public diplomacy and diaspora affairs against Israel’s hotels, which they claim are systematically discriminating against tourist groups from abroad by not allowing them to hold prayer services according to their customs. In a letter sent by Gilad […]

Closeted orthodox guy attends reform minyan

A few years ago my friends took me to my first Reform service, in fact it was the first non-Orthodox davening of any type that I had attended and I felt pretty awkward going. Growing up Orthodox you hear some pretty nasty rhetoric about anyone who isn’t Orthodox and so I figured they must think […]

IDF discharges thousands of haredim

Thousands of yeshiva students in recent weeks have received letters informing them that they have been exempt from military service. The letters were sent following the ultra-Orthodox draft reform approved by the government earlier this year. A military official confirmed the details to Ynet. The newly discharged men are yeshiva students over the age of […]

Women Reform rabbis: Stop the hatred

Dozens of female rabbis belonging to the Reform movement called out against a letter drafted by 27 wives of prominent rabbis calling on Jewish women not to date Arabs, work in places where Arabs are employed or volunteer for National Service with them. In their own letter, the Reform rabbis said the wives’ call was […]

History Timeline of Jewish People in America

History Timeline of Jewish People in America

1630 Holland captures Pernambuco, Brazil from the Portuguese and invites Jewish settlement. A significant Jewish community develops in Recife.  (Recife is the 4th largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 4,136,506 inhabitants. 1649 Solomon Franco was a merchant, who was granted a weekly stipend by the Puritan authorities on the condition that he leave on the […]

The Jewish Women: Inside the Synagogue

The Talmud states that women are generally exempted from doing Jewish religious activities. Orthodox Judaism stresses its importance especially that women have family obligations. There are a number of rules for Jewish women in the synagogues – some observed strictly by the Orthodox sect while other Jewish sects are more lenient about it (Conservative and […]

How to Apply Reform Judaism Into Your Life

Reform Judaism is a branch of Judaism that believes in the modernization of Judaism and Jewish traditions and that it should be compatible with participation in the surrounding culture. This branch of Judaism believes that Jewish laws should be regarded as set of guidelines rather than list of restrictions. Join a local Jewish class in your area. […]

How to Locate a Local Synagogue

A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. The synagogue is also a beit midrash (house of study). Synagogues have libraries where members of the Jewish community come to study. Many religious and non- religious activities are also held in synagogues. Finding a local synagogue is easy when you know where to start your search. With the […]

How to Behave When Attending Jewish Funerals

Jewish funeral is a sacred ceremony. Attending a Jewish funeral is a sign of showing your respect for the Jewish faith. It is best to be prepared and learn how to behave when attending a Jewish funeral. Ask if the funeral will be held based on Reform or Orthodox customs. Know where the funeral will […]

Synagogues in the News

The experimental Nashuva (“We will return”) Friday night service involves “a band, meditation, reinterpreted prayers on a handout sheet, and a PowerPoint presentation” all in under 45 minutes. (New Jersey Jewish News) A synagogue finds itself in a legal battle over its large sign “Lyndi and Rodney Adler Sephardi Centre.” (Australian Jewish News)   In Northeast […]

Women’s Tallit – Reexamining the Tradition

Although many Jewish women today wear women’s tallit, it is not a practice that is approved by everyone in the Jewish community. Women are not required to keep time bound commandments and therefore they are not required to wear the tallit. However many non-Orthodox and Reformed synagogues allow both men and women to read from […]

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Basics

A Practical Family Guide to Coming of Age Together Second Editionby Helen Leneman This practical guide gives families the how-to information they need-not only how to navigate the bar/bat mitzvah process, but how to grow as a family through this coming-of-age experience. All who are directly involved in bar and bat mitzvah offer their practical […]

Jewish Liturgy and Its Developement

by Abraham Z. Idelsohn Originally published by Henry Holt in 1932, this classic chronicles the development of Jewish worship and liturgy from ancient times to the 19th century, and subsequently describes in detail the nature and ritual of public services and private devotions. Included are discussions of daily public and private prayers, Sabbath services, special […]

Gates of Prayer: Shaarei Tefila

The New Union Prayerbook for Weekdays, Sabbaths and Festivals (Reform)Edited by Chaim Stern Standard liturgical work of the Reform Movement. Contains a variety of services for weekdays, Shabbat, and festivals, as well as Israel Independence Day, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Tisha B’Av. Also contains special readings, meditations, and 40 pages of songs complete with transliterations.All […]

Gates of Prayer for Shab&Wkds/HebOpening

(Reform)HebOpening This is the only prayerbook now available from the CCAR containing services for Shabbat and weekdays, evening and morning, within the covers of a single, elegantly designed, hardbound volume. The selection of three complete services for Erev Shabbat should enable congregations to use this book regularly for most worship purposes. Gates of Prayer for […]

Gates of Prayer: Shaarei Tefila Large Print – Large Print

Shabbat, Festivals & WeekdaysEdited by Chaim Stern Large Print Edition: The New Union Prayerbook for Weekdays, Sabbaths and Festivals Profoundly rooted in Jewish tradition, yet expressing that tradition within the context of Reform Judaism, this prayerbook has become the standard liturgical work of the Reform Movement. It contains a variety of services for weekdays, Shabbat […]