The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has announced new partnerships with Behrman House Publishing and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) to provide long-cherished and innovative publications to the Reform Movement and beyond. Under the guidelines of a new strategic plan, the URJ, which published a variety of materials including Torah commentaries, religious school curricula, study materials, Jewish fiction and poetry, cookbooks, children’s books, and more, will discontinue its in-house publishing operation.
The URJ’s titles will now be handled by Behrman House Publishing and the CCAR. Michael Goldberg, who served as Publisher and Editor in Chief of the URJ Books and Music division for the past six years will now serve as the director of Knowledge Management on the URJ’s Strengthening Congregations team.
Under the agreements, the URJ will partner with CCAR and Behrman House in three discrete areas:
- Behrman House will take on the URJ’s educational materials, including the CHAI and Mitkadem curricula that are used in more than 300 Reform congregations.
- Behrman House will also become the publisher of the URJ’s study guides for b’nai mitzvah students as well as the rest of the URJ Press catalog of nearly 400 titles, including books by Rifat Sonsino, Tina Wasserman, and many more acclaimed authors.
- The CCAR will become the publisher of a number of specific titles, primarily Torah commentaries, from the URJ Press, including the best-selling The Torah: A Modern Commentary edited by W. Gunther Plaut, the ground-breaking The Torah: A Women’s Commentary (co-published with Women of Reform Judaism), and the highly-regarded three-volume A Torah Commentary for Our Times by Rabbi Harvey Fields.
The URJ is also speaking with a number of possible partners concerning the future of its music arm, Transcontinental Music Publishing.