Issue #551

24 November 2016 // 23 Heshvan 5777

Featuring

Hate Speech Graffiti Vandalizes Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra'anan in Ra’anana, Israel

Five Reform Rabbis Ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem

Updates from a Biennial: The Union for Progressive Judaism in Australia Celebrates

Listen Up! World Union for Progressive Union Talks with Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) in New Podcast

Mark Your Calendars
Netzer News
Congratulations
Dear Reader

Upcoming Events


Featuring

Hate Speech Graffiti Vandalizes Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra'anan in Ra’anana, Israel

The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) issued the following statement: On Thursday, November 24, 2016, Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra'anan in Ra'anana woke up to a shocking sight. Overnight, hate messages were spray-painted on the congregation's building, including supposed Halachic orders on when one is allowed to murder, as well as knives with the names of Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) in North America, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, President and CEO of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) and chair of Women of the Wall, written on them in red ink.

 
Hate speech vandalizes Beit Samueli – Kehillat Ra’anan Reform
synagogue in Ra’anana, Israel

Over the past year, Reform Jews in Israel have increasingly served as targets for hate speech and incitement, but today the problem reached a new level. Yossi Cohen, Director of Kehillat Ra'anan, who was the first to arrive at the scene, said: "Upon arriving this morning at my second home, Beit Samueli-Kehillat Ra’anan, I was horrified to find that once again Reform Judaism and Kehillat Ra’anan are being persecuted and attacked… the incitement against Reform Judaism in Ra’anana continues to escalate as this is the fifth time the congregational building has been spray-painted with hate speech – but seeing the knives was shocking and I am still shaking… I pray that the leaders of the incitement, among them leading rabbis, understand the consequences of their uncontrollable words.”

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, IMPJ President and CEO, responded: "Death threats and the vandalizing of a synagogue are the direct result of an unprecedented series of incitement against Reform Judaism over the past year led by leading ultra-Orthodox rabbis and politicians. We hope that this event serves as a warning for those people and reminds them how a disagreement should be handled. We will not be frightened by these threats and will continue promoting our activities at the Kotel, in the city of Ra’anana and in dozens of congregations spread across the country.

 
Death threats to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Rabbi Gilad Kariv and Anat Hoffman
vandalize the Beit Samueli - Kehillat Ra’anan Reform Synagogue
in Ra’anana, Israel
 
צֶדֶק צֶדֶק, תִּרְדֹּף  - Justice, justice you shall pursue. The IMPJ honors the right of all people to worship as they deem fit, while respecting each other in doing so. We will continue fighting these phenomena in the way we know best, by promoting religious freedom and tolerance and democracy all across Israel.”

For more about the incident, read this article in Ha'aretz.
 
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Five Reform Rabbis Ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem

On Friday, November 18, 2016, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's (HUC-JIR) Jerusalem campus held its Ordination and Academic Convocation at the Blaustein Hall of Beit Shmuel-Mercaz Shimshon of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). Together, Beit Shmuel and the HUC-JIR's Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem form the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism in the State of Israel in general, and across Jerusalem in particular. 

 
Newly ordained Reform Rabbis at the recent ceremony in
Jerusalem with leadership of HUC-JIR

In a moving and celebratory ceremony honoring the cadre’s dedication and endurance during the multi-year program of intense study and training, five new rabbis for Israel’s Reform movement were ordained: Yael Karrie, Noa Mazor, Alona Nir-Keren, Tamir Nir, and Dr. Ulrike Offenberg

Please join the World Union in wishing these newly-ordained rabbis much success in their journeys in Progressive congregations in Israel and around the world. We look forward to seeing great things from them – yashar koach and mazal tov on this incredible achievement! 
May you continue to go from strength to strength.

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Updates from a Biennial: The Union for Progressive Judaism in Australia Celebrates

The Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) biennial was an amazing four days – from the first beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean on Scarborough Beach through to the last inspiring session spent with Dr. Ron Wolfson and his wife Susie as everyone sang “Shalom Aleichem”.

 
Netzer Australia on-site and engaged at the Union for
Progressive Judaism Biennial in Perth

More than 130 biennial supporters and friends came together to learn, celebrate Shabbat at Temple David, and even dance the night away at a festive party on Saturday night. There were sessions that focused on Relational Judaism and strengthening Reform congregations by sharing knowledge and resources, and talented musical performers entertained and inspired us. Dr. Ron Wolfson’s one-man show based on his book The Best Boy in the U.S.A. was a real highlight.

The UPJ biennial was honored to welcome Reform movement leaders and rabbis from around the globe including: Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ); Carole Sterling, Chair of the WUPJ; David Robinson, Chair of the WUPJ Finance Committee and Executive Board Member; Miriam Kramer, Chairman of the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ); Rabbi Hara Person, Publisher and Director of the Central Congress of American Rabbis (CCAR) Press; Rabbi Nir Barkin and Yossi Cohen from the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ); as well as friends from the Indonesian Progressive congregation, Kehillat B’rit Bracha.

For the first time, the UPJ Biennial was proud to have launched a conference app for smartphones and tablets, in order to be more environmentally conscious.

For more pictures from the biennial and to get frequent updates from the region, visit the UPJ Facebook page here. Resources from the biennial, including presentations and the UPJ’s Annual Report are now available on their website.

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Listen Up! World Union for Progressive Union Talks with Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) in New Podcast

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) is proud to launch the first episode of its new podcast series which will present engaging discussions with diverse leaders, rabbis and individuals from across the global spectrum of our Reform Jewish community. 

 
The World Union’s new Podcast Channel on Soundcloud.com

Listen in as Rabbi Steve Burnstein, Director of the Anita Saltz International Leadership and Education Center talks with attorney and activist Orly Likhovski from the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC). Hear more about their legal and social battles in the Knesset, Supreme Court and throughout the streets of Israel. 

To livestream the interview, click here. No downloads, apps, or special features required.

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Mark Your Calendars 

Registration for CONNECTIONS 2017 Now Open!

On May 17-20, 2017, explore, experience and connect with global Reform Judaism right here in Jerusalem. CONNECTIONS 2017 is the international biennial conference of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) which brings together Reform, Progressive and Liberal Jews from around the world for four days of workshops, lectures, prayer, gala events, site visits and more. 

Click here to register today!

Count down to CONNECTIONS with our new website and read the latest news and developments, including speaker appointments and gala events. Register online with our one-stop resource for all your conference and traveling needs: pricing and payment information, accommodation options, and exciting pre-conference events

Wondering “Why CONNECTIONS is so special?” Click here to find out more.  

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Last Call for Community and Congregational Leaders: Success Starts with the Beutel Leadership Seminar in Jerusalem

The Beutel Leadership Seminar, run by the Saltz International Educational Center of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), is still accepting nominations of congregational and community leaders to join its prestigious ten-day seminar in Jerusalem in February 2017. 

Courses provide practical tools as they explore Jewish texts, current political and social issues across world Jewry and Israel, spiritual pathways and concepts of Jewish leadership, and more, all within an interactive and experiential Progressive Jewish context. Scholarships are now available for applicants and nominees. 

 
It’s not as easy as it looks! 
Beutel Participants 2015 (picture by Bety Dimant)

To inquire about opportunities via e-mail, write to Rabbi Steve Burstein.

To nominate individuals from your congregation or find out how the Beutel seminar will transform your community, click here today.

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Limmud China 2016 

Limmud China 2016 will take place in Shanghai on December 2-4. The weekend of activities and study will focus on “Global People for the Global City,” our contribution as Jews to the future of Asia's megacities in the fields of ethics, tech, culture, business and more. 

 

Learn more about the topics to be explored here. And if you’ll be traveling through the area, register here or email for more information.  

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Netzer News

TaMaR European Continental Seminar 2016: Jewish Journeys in the Heart of Herzl's Home

Hailing from 12 countries across Europe including Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, the United States and Ireland, more than 35 young adults came together to participate in the TaMaR Jewish Journeys European Continental Seminar. TaMaR, which stands for Tnuat Magshimim Reformit, is the young adult platform for engagement of Netzer Olami, the global Reform Zionist youth movement of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). 

Held this year in Budapest between October 20-23, the seminar explored the history of Zionism and the Jewish people through experiential activities: a dance class opened the seminar with a cultural historical overview, while a ghetto tour provided on-site opportunities for storytelling. 

 
Kabbalat Shabbat at the TaMaR European
Continental Seminar 2016 in Budapest

Kabbalat Shabbat service were conducted with one of the local Reform communities and Shabbat morning services with the other. Over the course of the day six different study workshops kept participants networking and learning, and a Havdala ceremony in the new Jewish community center closed Shabbat beautifully. On their last day participants met with the head of the Jewish community of Budapest and challenged him with hard questions regarding the acceptance and treatment of the Reform Jewish community by other local streams. 

The seminar was organized by “Jung und Jüdisch,” the official representative of TaMaR in Germany since 2004. As one participant reflected, "Wow, what a weekend this has been… it is so good to know that there is such a great young, vibrant and active TaMaR community out there who isn't afraid to ask and also not afraid to listen - whether those issues affect them personally or not. It was amazing to see how much compassion people had for each other and the different Jewish journeys each goes through - not wanting the workshops to end and keeping on with our discussions during coffee breaks and through the evenings! I hope we will continue to keep our ears, eyes and hearts open to make our communities a place where everyone can feel equal and welcome. See you next year in Jerusalem!"

 
L’Hitraot: See you soon in Jerusalem! Participants at the TaMaR
European Continental Seminar 2016 in Budapest

TaMaR will celebrate twenty years of growth and engagement at the upcoming CONNECTIONS 2017 conference in Jerusalem. Join young community leaders for networking, training, tours and fun in each of its core principles: 
  • Am V’Medinat Israel – The People and Land of Israel: the belief that Israel is central to a Jewish identity, whether living in Israel or the Diaspora.
  • Kehillat Yahadut Mitkademet – Progressive Jewish Community: Communities based on the central principles of Progressive Judaism
  • Chinuch – Education: Educational opportunities and leadership training
  • Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World: sharing in the Reform Movement’s dedication to repairing the world.
To register or find out more information, including special discounts for young adults, click here

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Congratulations


Congratulations to Leslie Bergman on the Bar Mitzvah of his son

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) extends a heartfelt Mazal Tov to Leslie Bergman and Dee Lehane on the Bar Mitzvah of their son.

May we all continue to celebrate smachot together.

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Congratulations to Miriam Kramer on the marriage of her son 

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) extends a heartfelt Mazal Tov to Miriam and Stephan Kramer on the marriage of their son.

May we all continue to celebrate smachot together.

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Congratulations to Maureen and David Robinson on the birth of a grandchild

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) wishes a Mazal Tov to Maureen and David Robinson, former President of the Union for Progressive Judaism (UPJ) and current Board Member and Vice Chair of the Finance Committee for the WUPJ, on the birth of their new grandson.

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Dear Reader

Stay current with newsletters from our regions. Click here for more details.

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Upcoming Events

February 16-26, 2017 - The Beutel Seminar For Progressive Jewish Leadership, Jerusalem, Israel

May 13-17, 2017 - Pursue Justice: Seminar for Legal Professionals, Jerusalem, Israel

May 17-20, 2017 - CONNECTIONS 2017, Jerusalem, Israel

July 13-23, 2017 - The Bergman Seminar for Jewish Educators, Jerusalem, Israel

December 6-10, 2017 - The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial Conference, Boston, USA

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