The following is an excerpt from President Obama's speech at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism.
So this week -- (applause) -- congregations around the world will retell the story of Joseph. (Applause.) As any fan of Broadway musicals will tell you -- (laughter) -- there is a lot going on in this reading. (Laughter.) But many scholars have focused on a single word that Joseph uses when he replies to his father Jacob.
In Hebrew, that word is “hineni.” It translates -- (applause) -- it translates to “Here I am.” Hineni. It’s the same word Abraham uses to reply to God before the binding of Isaac. It’s the same word Moses uses when God summons him from the burning bush. Hineni. The text is telling us that while Joseph does not know what lies ahead, he is ready to answer the call.
The President also spoke about Israel.
We stand with Israel as a Jewish democratic state because we know that Israel is born of firmly held values that we, as Americans, share: a culture committed to justice, a land that welcomes the weary, a people devoted to tikkun olam.
Read full speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/16/remarks-president-71st-general-assembly-union-reform-judaism
As a new leader takes the helm of the leadership of Reform Judaism, I draw attention to an article written by Mort Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization in which he expresses serious concerns.
Blogging religiously discusses a new chapter in the Reform movement.
The Reform movement is, of course, Judaism’s liberal wing. The URJ represents something like 900 congregations and over 300,000 households, but there has long been concern over how “connected” to Judaism many of those households are. A lot of teens basically drop out after their bar and bat mitzvahs and many of the interfaith families that belong to Reform congregations are not terribly active in Jewish life.
Read full article: http://religion.lohudblogs.com/tag/rabbi-eric-yoffie/