Reform Judaism magazine - World's Largest Circulated Jewish Magazine 1st Place Award Winner for Excellence in Jewish Journalism and a Benefit of Membership in a Union Congregation

High Holy Days  
a conversation with Lawrence A. Hoffman. The editor of We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet discusses how our ancestors understood sin, how the Jewish view of sin differs from the Christian notion, why Jews don’t confess frequently, why there are two standard public confessions, and more. Fall 2013.
Patricia Ratner McWeeney. Taking off on the tale of Jonah and the whale which we read on the High Holy Days, the author reflects as an adult about the mistake she made after her Sweet Sixteen party that changed her life. Fall 2013.
Stephen S. Pearce. Why did Abraham nearly sacrifice his son Isaac? Of these 10 possible explanations of the Akedah (which we read on Rosh Hashanah), which speaks to you and why? Fall 2013.
Mary Ann Sternberg. Sick with bronchitis, the author decided to stream Rosh Hashanah services at three different congregations, including KK Bene Israel / Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati and Central Synagogue in NYC. She describes her experiences and offers streaming tips for temples. Summer 2013.
Theodore Bikel, Susan Caro, Rachel Cowan, Stacia Deutsch, Emily Goldberg, Lawrence A. Hoffman, Liz Lerman, Richard N. Levy, Cynthia Roosth Wolf. Nine Jewish thinkers reflect on the teachings that inspire them to take an accounting of their souls, how they take stock of their actions, and the life experiences that have prompted them to seek change. Fall 2012.
Charles R. Krivcher. Personal reflection of a High Holy Day encounter with a mirror that led to an epiphany regarding the author’s relationship with God and personal responsibility in prayer. Fall 2011.
Dalia Marx. As we approach the Days of Awe, we can take three paths to forgiveness: focusing on the injured, on the injurer, or—ideally and most challenging—on the relationship between them. Fall 2011.
How Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City created a special Rosh Hashanah service that was greatly valued by Jews with special needs and their families; includes tips. Summer 2011.
Russ Levine. Upon reflection and action, the author comes to rethink tashlich - not as a contrived solution to bring absolution of sin, but as a challenge from God. Fall 2010.
Maxine Sukenik and Steve Friedman. A debate between two temple presidents, each of whose congregation has chosen a different path. Fall 2009.
Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Congregation Or Chadash in Damascus, MD are engaging congregants in discussing their stories as well as their hopes and dreams for the New Year. Summer 2009.
An exploration of the music of Kol Nidre in different communities and times. Fall 2007.
Steven Schnur. A reflection on entering the synagogue on the High Holy Days and "staring at the undeniable alteration a single year has wrought upon the familiar landscape of family and friends." Fall 2004.
In anticipation of the coming New Year, Schimmel discusses what Judaism can teach us about forgiveness. Fall 2004.
Marge Eiseman. How Bibliodrama, art, writing, and "Holigames" about the High Holidays enthralled the children of Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee. Fall 2001.
Mary Ann Sternberg. The author, a visitor in southern Montana attending Rosh Hashanah services at Congregation Beth Shalom of Bozeman, is moved by the holiness evoked - at the local Comfort Inn! Fall 2001.
Harold Schulweis. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: they are linked together, yet contradictory. Each speaks with a different voice, expresses different attitudes, and teaches different lessons. Fall 1997
Sukkot  
Toby Sonneman. A cultural history of the etrog from its earliest days through the present, the article also offers information on etrog selection and how we bless it. Fall 2003
Chanukah  
Rick Jacobs. A Hanukkah talk at an all-boys prep school that turned miraculous. Winter 2013.
Alan Morinis. Re-examining the Hanukkah exhortation, “A great miracle happened here,” not as the miracle of the oil lasting 8 days, but as a spiritual miracle—that the Maccabees lit the wick despite knowing they did not possess enough oil. While recalibrating Hanukkah through a spiritual lense, Morinis explains its potential to open our hearts. Winter 2013.
Jayson Rodovsky and Rachel Wetstein. 8 questions & answers about Ma’oz Tzur, Ocho Kandelikas, Judas Maccabeus, and more—and links to the music. Winter 2012.
Tina D. Wasserman. Understanding gluten-free foods, plus two gluten-free Chanukah recipes: Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes and Sweet Potato Spiced Sufganyot. Winter 2011.
Jonathan Greenstein. Appraising a menorah with a Star of David motif. Winter 2011.
Judith Richlin-Klonsky. Every year, each of us gets a chance to be Judah Maccabee. Winter 2010.
Andi Rosenthal. From "Vodka & Latkes" to "Chanuplex", the variety of Reform congregational programs that are shining a creative light on Chanukah. Winter 2008.
Rabbi Manuel Gold. Why it took 600 years after the Maccabees recaptured the Temple for the story of the miraculous jar of oil to emerge. Winter 2008.
Jenna Weissman Joselit. In the late 1800s, Chanukah almost disappeared from the American Jewish landscape...but thanks to cultural ingenuity, it's come back strong. A cultural exploration of the fall and rise of the holiday. Winter 2008.
Michael L. Feshbach. The Maccabees came up with the quintessential survival strategy that has kept the Jewish people from extinction. Winter 2008.
Beth Friedman & Amy Soul. Two Reform Jews share innovative approaches to illuminating Chanukah at home. Winter 2008.
William Squier. A thoughtful reflection on the question of Christmas celebration in an interfaith marriage. Winter 2007.
Michelle Golland. A Jew-by-choice negotiates Chanukah vs. Christmas gift-wrapping with her family, a "war" more about love, respect, and celebrating differences. Winter 2006.
Bruce Feiler. How the author's journey through an ancient land taught him more than he knew about the Maccabees and helped him view Chanukah in a new light. Includes wonderful synopsis of the Chanukah story. Winter 2005.
Joshua Eli Plaut. Christmas has become a prism through which Jews can see themselves; a history of the Jews' relationship to Christmas. Winter 2004.
Cooking with oil during Chanukah reminds us symbolically that we can prevail over our persecutors through the power of our faith in God. Recipes: "Corn Fritters," Potato Pancakes or Kugel," and "Applesauce." Tina D. Wasserman. Winter 2004.
Nancy M. Berman. Text and visual representation of six uniquely crafted Hanukkah lamps from the 16th century to the present. Winter 2003.
Judy B. Shanks. Rabbi Shanks offers a nuanced response. Winter 2002.
General Holidays  
An introduction to the range of Reform Jewish thinking on celebrating Jewish holidays and observing Shabbat. Summer 2008.
Passover  
interview with Richard Elliott Friedman. The author of Who Wrote the Bible? points to the archaeological and the textual evidence for the Exodus, with the understanding that it was a smaller group who left Egypt. Spring 2014.
Michael J. Cook. Why Jesus’ Last Supper could not have been a Passover meal, even of the pre-70 C.E. prototype. The author pinpoints 5 anomalies within a paragraph in the Gospel of Mark to prove his case. Online Exclusive within Focus: Greatest Jewish Myths. Spring 2013.
Rachel Wetstein. 8 questions, answers—& links to the music. Spring 2013.
David Wolpe. Knowing the Exodus is not a literal historical account does not change our connection to our faith. Part of Focus: Greatest Jewish Myths. Spring 2013.
Michael J. Cook. Jesus could not have known what a seder was, let alone have modeled his Last Supper after one. Part of Focus: Greatest Jewish Myths. Spring 2013.
S. David Sperling. The biblical tradition of slavery in Egypt and the Israelite conquest of Canaan appear to be fictitious. Part of Focus: Greatest Jewish Myths. Spring 2013.
Tina D. Wasserman. How “gefilte fish” first came to be; includes recipes for Traditional Gefilte Fish, Gefilte Fish and Horseradish Mold, and Tri-colored Gefilte Loaf, Spanish Style. Spring 2012.
Murray Spiegel and Rickey Stein. Reciting the first of the 4 questions in 20 languages from Canaanite to Klingon. PDF. Spring 2012.
Karen Gall. What happens when a woman tries to take a large shofar as carry-on and is met by seven non-Jewish airport security guards. Fall 2010.
Mike Rankin. The author remembers his favorite Passover: On a U.S. Naval base in Japan, a 5-year-old boy named David Horoshi Cohen chants the 4 questions in 3 languages. Spring 2009.
Leigh Lerner. The author remembers his most poignant Passover: On a cold Minnesota night, a man appears and he knows that Elijah has arrived. Spring 2009.
Edythe Held Mencher. Taking the time in advance to figure out the particular needs of your seder guests can avert the "11th plague" and make Passover the joyful occasion you wish it to be. Spring 2009.
Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin. What the prophet Elijah has to do with Passover, and the little-known fifth cup of wine. Spring 2008.
Jenna Weissman Joselit. A cultural history of how matzah, the unleavened bread which the Israelites ate before leaving Egypt for the Promised Land, has weathered gastronomic trends, mass production, and fickle palates to claim its place on supermarket shelves throughout North America. Spring 2005.
Jean Bloch Rosensaft. Text and presentation of artful Passover seder plates from 15th century Spain to 21st century America. Spring 2004
Ralph D. Mecklenburger. A cultural exploration of the Jewish family tradition whereby the door is opened on Passover to find gifts from Elijah. Spring 2003.
Faith Joy Dantowitz. Utilizing the seder as a springboard for posing questions about Jewish values and traditions. Spring 2000.
Purim  
Sonia Levitin. "For thousands of years, Jews have celebrated personal Purims to mark deliverance from danger. Now so do I, after a freeway incident almost took my life." Spring 2010.
Shabbat  
Eileen Winter. Meeting my Reform brethren on Shabbat in Warsaw, Budapest, and Prague. Part of 2nd Annual RJ Insider’s Guide to Jewish World Travel. Spring 2014.
Ryan E. Smith. Congregations’ innovative approaches to strengthening member involvement on the Day of Rest. Summer 2012.
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer. Evening programs of dancing and singing to Chasidic-style gospel sounds with lyrics and prayers projected on a large screen; Jewish indie movies; yoga; "Kids' Club"; intergenerational dinners; crafts; puppetry/storytelling service; and more innovative ways to celebrate Shabbat. Winter 2008.
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie. In this adaptation from his Biennial address, the URJ president calls for approaching Shabbat with creativity, expanding our understanding of "rest," and defining "work" in new ways. Spring 2008.
Wendy Hilsen-Bernard. "As Jews, we have been given the perfect venue for cultivating abounding peace: Shabbat." The author offers three suggestions for weaving the Shabbat spirit into the fabric of our lives. Spring 2007.
C.L. Bell. Winter 2003. In PDF format.
Rabbi Harold Schulweis. How Shabbat can revitalize our personal connections, romance, and intimacy. Spring 1998.
Donald S. Day. Comparing Shabbat services and prayer books in Progressive Jewish congregations affiliated with the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Part of Focus On Shabbat. PDF. Summer 1991.
Anita Diamant. The distinct categories of Shabbat guests who determine the chemistry of the evening: watchers, learners, and doers. Part of Focus On Shabbat. PDF. Summer 1991.
Bernard M. Zlotowitz. Torah teachings about Shabbat observance. Part of Focus On Shabbat. PDF. Summer 1991.
No byline. Twenty-four mitzvot to follow, adapted from Gates of Shabbat (CCAR Press). Part of Focus On Shabbat. PDF. Summer 1991.
Sonia Levitin. A personal reflection: How the author came to adopt Shabbat and experience “a sense of tenderness and quiet pleasure.” Part of Focus On Shabbat. PDF. Summer 1991.
Simchat Torah  
Mark S. Glickman. How Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville, Washington turned the dropping of a Torah scroll during Simchat Torah into an opportunity for community-wide reflection. Spring 2008.
All Articles on Holidays  
 
Union for Reform Judaism.