KESHER should not be confused with various U.S. synagogues incorporating the word Kesher into their names.

KESHER (from Hebrew קשר 'linkage', 'connection') is the now-defunct college outreach arm and campus student organization for Reform Judaism.[1] It was formally disbanded in 2009, though it continued to operate Taglit Birthright Israel trips, under the brand "URJ Kesher" for several more years.[2][3][4] There are no longer any official college programs run by the URJ.

Its directors included Paul Reichenbach (-1995), David Terdiman (1995-7), Rabbi Jonathan Klein (1997-2000), Rabbi Andrew Davids, Rabbi Marc Israel, Lisa David (-2006); Nicole Rand was the latest acting director. There had been two program associates and an Israeli shaliach.

KESHER worked with organizations like Hillel to create Reform Jewish programs on campuses across North America. They were a member of the Israel Campus Coalition and sponsored the Argentina Ambassadors trip. KESHER also hosted a Leadership Training Seminar during the spring semester, coordinated by members of the KESHER Student Leadership Council. This council was made of 6-7 junior and senior students who applied each year for one or two terms (a school year). Through its (now-defunct) website, the group disseminated many documents describing the connection between Reform Judaism and North American Jewish youth.

See also


  1. ^ "Campus Life 202: Making Your Jewish Way On Campus". College Research Associates. Retrieved 2021-11-29.
  2. ^ "URJ Kesher Group 561: Taglit-Birthright Israel Journey From LA To Israel". Retrieved 2021-11-29.
  3. ^ "Birthright Israel allows students to connect with their heritage". The Brown and White. 2016-02-12. Retrieved 2021-11-29.
  4. ^ "How Orthodox Groups Are Taking Over Birthright, and Using It to Target Young U.S. Jews". Haaretz. Retrieved 2021-11-29.