WRJ's Blog

This blog is adapted from a women’s empowerment event focused on the gender wage gap at Temple Rodef Shalom in Vienna, Virginia.

2019 – Next year we will celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. Today, women are graduating from college and earning advanced degrees at a higher rate than males. We have women role models in prestigious jobs including a significant increase of women in Congress. And since 2016, women in the military have served in combat. Yet, the Equal Rights Amendment that was introduced by Alice Paul in 1923...

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What does it mean to be holy?

In modern parlance, we “do lunch” with friends, and we “have conversations” about everything from work to children, from sisterhood to cooking. We “meet up” for social activities and for religious events. So, what does it look like to “do holiness,” to “have holiness,” or to “meet up with holiness?”

Sh’mini is the 3rd parshah in the book of Leviticus (Lev. 11:1 – 11:44), and it focuses quite a bit on the idea of holiness, including a number of verses containing detailed descriptions for dietary restrictions followed by a Biblical command that...

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NFTY Convention for me is like a proverbial “shot in the arm.” As the URJ’s lay leader for youth, I get to work closely with the URJ Youth professional team on engaging young Reform Jews and developing today’s and tomorrow’s young leaders. Seeing them in action at NFTY Convention fills me with energy, hope, and optimism. Being in the room during plenary sessions, even simply walking the halls and taking in the sights and sounds of our teens at work, leaves no question in my mind that our future is in the most capable of hands. And it was inspiring as well to spend time at the Youth Summit...

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For many modern Jews, the teachings of our Torah can often feel distant and even irrelevant to the world in which we live. This week's Torah portion, Parashat Tzav, is a good example. It contains instructions for the rituals of sacrifices and explains the elaborate rites for ordaining the ancient priest Aaron and his sons. At first glance we might be tempted to dismiss these verses as archaic words meant for our ancestors, not for us.

But Torah teaches that the hereditary priesthood of old isn't the only kind of priesthood. The whole community of Israel is commanded to be a nation...

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Earlier this month an intrepid group of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) leaders traveled to Israel to participate in the 30th anniversary celebration of Women of the Wall’s (WOW) gallant efforts to carve out a space at the Kotel for pluralistic women’s prayer. Sadly, what should have been a joyous celebration was instead a harsh reminder of the challenges faced by progressive Jews in our beloved homeland as we were confronted by a violent mob of extremists determined to block our prayer. We will be processing that experience for some time to...

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