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“Rule Yourself” – that’s the name of the new Under Armour campaign. Its newest commercial opens on a dimly lit Olympic-sized swimming pool, then shifts to the silhouette of Michael Phelps swimming effortlessly in the dark water. A montage of Phelps training continues as the music goes on: scenes of him lifting weights, swimming with drag suits, his coach yelling as he does a perfect flip turn.

And then, something really powerful: The commercial quickly cuts to Phelps in a bed...

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How difficult is it to learn the names of 40 strangers… all at once? For me, at least, the answer is “very.” I’ve had the privilege of leading two URJ Kesher Birthright trips to Israel, and names, it seems, are always the immediate challenge.

Yes, there are other, more pressing matters, such as finding a lost luggage, dealing with that one participant who never showed up to the airport, and making sure everyone is drinking enough water to survive a trip to the desert.

But learning everyone’s names is harder than all of those things.  ...

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I grew up in a family without any serious religious affiliation. We were Christian only in the most secular sense, and never attended church. Only one African-American family lived in our predominantly white community in Maine, and no Jews. I don’t remember ever hearing an anti-Jewish slur. In fact, Judaism was so foreign to me that it barely graced my radar.

Flash forward to my early 30s. As I discussed my interest in converting to Judaism with my wife, the granddaughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, she looked me in the eye and said, “Yes, there are many wonderful things about...

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As a recent college graduate watching many of my friends head back to school, I’ve been reminiscing about all my incredible experiences at the University of Kansas.

My four years as a student were transformative beyond any of my expectations: I forged lasting friendships, explored my Judaism to new depths, and had time and space to truly get to know myself. From big Hillel events and working at the Reform Jewish summer camp, to staffing youth group events and learning how to make my own...

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God of Caring and Compassion

We pray that people of Louisiana, who again are coping with the damage and disruption of terrible flooding, may find the strength and persistence they need to cope for yet another crisis.

We pray that students and teachers can return to school, that citizens can return to work, that life can start returning to normal.

We pray that the response from state and federal agencies will be swift, generous and comprehensive.

We pray that assistance will be offered to everyone who has been impacted by this latest disaster, regardless of...

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