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  Reform Judaism Magazine Discussion Guides  

Reform Judaism magazine, working together with the Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning, now offers a discussion guide focusing on a major topic of every edition. The following guides are designed for study, at home or in a congregational setting:

  • “Iraqi Jewry” Study Guide / Winter 2004: The cover story is a two-tiered perspective on Iraq’s former Jewish community. In “Dispossessed: How Iraq’s 2,600-Year-Old Jewish Community Was Decimated in One Decade,” Edwin Black analyzes the geopolitical, historical, socioeconomic, and religious factors that led to the dismantling of the 125,000-strong Jewish community between 1941 and 1951. “Paradise Lost: An Iraqi Jewish Story” is an interview with Iraqi-born Reform educator Tamara Ruben, who describes Iraqi Jewish communal celebrations under the British; the later persecutions; her family’s flight to freedom; and more. Dr. Alan Bennett’s learning guide includes an overview, ideas to explore, discussion questions, resources, and projects.

  • "Navigating Antisemitic Encounters" Study Guide / Fall 2004: The Focus section presents 3 stories of antisemitic encounters (a woman tongue-tied at a dinner party, a rising company exec contending with instructions not to hire a Jew, a spunky high school student proud of her Jewishness) as well as how college students can best respond to anti-Israel sentiment on campus, an interview with an expert on antisemitism & identity, and a rabbi's exhortation not to see our sacred story through the eyes of Christian society. Dr. Alan Bennett's study guide includes questions for discussion and additional resources.

  • "Israel's Fence: Fortification or Folly?" Study Guide / Summer 2004: The Summer cover story presents 6 perspectives on Israel's security fence, mostly from Israelis, and offers a military historian's analysis of the effectiveness of military barriers throughout history. The online guide, by URJ shaliach Yonatan Glaser, includes all the articles, background & opinions, discussion questions & guidelines, programmatic suggestions, & links.

  • "Jewish Diversity" Study Guide / Spring 2004: The Spring cover story presents 5 personal Reform Jewish stories--a Latino Jew, a Chinese Jewish activist, the first African American to become a Reform temple president, an African American woman studying for the rabbinate at HUC-JIR, and a Korean rabbi/cantor-as well as a profile of photographer Frederic Brenner, whose quest is to "shatter the Western stereotype of the pale-skinned Ashkenazi male as the defining image of the Jew." The study guide, by the William and Lottie Daniel Department of Outreach and Synagogue Community, highlights findings from the 2000 National Jewish Population Study and includes discussion questions, text study, and additional resources.

The above is a selection of articles from our most recent issue. To see the full magazine please subscribe.

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