WRJ's Blog

“Renew the old and sanctify the new.”  – Rav Abraham Isaac Kook

The thoughtful use of technology can enhance Jewish spiritual practice and engagement. This summer, I was privileged to witness and facilitate a few exceptional examples of this while serving as faculty at the URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy.  At this overnight summer camp, currently celebrating its 4th year, campers and staff utilize science and technology as tools to strengthen Jewish identities, develop Jewish community, and enrich Jewish practice.

One Shabbat afternoon during an all-camp picnic, electrified...

Read More

As I made the turn onto the country road that leads to URJ’s Kutz Camp, I recalled the journey over twenty-five years ago when I showed up for my first summer at URJ’s Camp Coleman. Going to Camp Coleman, I was looking forward to a summer of canoeing and camp activities, and while I loved all those experiences, in the end I was given something even greater. Camp was my introduction to the larger Jewish community, and was integral in developing my Jewish identity.

Coming to Kutz, I was no longer an eight-year-old girl from Miami entering the mountains for the first time-- I am now...

Read More

Leadership offers amazing opportunities. As a leader, you can advocate for ideas and rights, advance the goals of an organization, and make a difference in peoples’ lives. It’s also a chance to grow and broaden your horizons. Of course, leaders gain personal fulfillment for a job well done. Additionally, leaders often receive accolades and kavod.

This weeks’ Torah portion, Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25), speaks of this moment of accomplishment—when we are in the “heady glow of success”. Eikev reminds us that we are not alone in our successes. Moses cautions the Israelites to avoid...

Read More

For years, members of the United States military were fighting a silent, internal battle: sexual assault was rampant and the military was covering it up. The hidden epidemic was exposed with the premiere of The Invisible War at Sundance Film Festival in 2012. The groundbreaking documentary revealed the military’s systemic mishandling of sexual assault reports and the constant retaliation against servicemembers who reported.

Through interviews with victims of military sexual assault and high-level officials, the nation quickly...

Read More

Imagine yourself as a nervous Bat Mitzvah student exploring her assigned parashah for the first time. Your friends have told you about leprosy, stonings, bodily discharges, and endless begatting. What horrors await you in your portion, Va-et’chanan?

You begin by reading that Moses is standing on the border of the promised land knowing that G-d has chosen Joshua to lead the people while Moses must stay behind. After laying a little guilt trip on the people (“But Adonai was wrathful with me on your account” – Deut. 3:26), Moses exhorts the Israelites to follow G-d’s commandments in...

Read More