Issue #555

19 January 2017 // 21 Tevet 5777

Featuring

Early Bird Discount CONNECTIONS 2017 Extended through January 31 – Register Today!

Open to All: World Union Moves Main Entrance to Mercaz Shimshon

Recognizing their Growth, Progressive Judaism Germany Honors Rabbi Joel Oseran 

Netzer News
Live from Israel: Lawyer Up!
Condolences 
Dear Reader

Upcoming Events



Featuring

Early Bird Discount for CONNECTIONS 2017 Extended through January 31 – Register Today to Save!

We're rolling out the red carpet at our opening gala event – just in time for you to save with our extended early bird discount! Join the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) at CONNECTIONS 2017 in Jerusalem as we kick off our biennial conference with a gala opening celebration at breathtaking Olmaya; a new venue with a centuries-old view. 

 
Click here to register today and join CONNECTIONS 17 at the
picturesque Olmaya banquet hall in Jerusalem – early bird
savings now extended through January 31!

Reunite with old friends, meet and mingle with new ones, experience the warm welcome of our global Progressive Jewish family, and share a beautiful Jerusalem sunset, all before embarking on four days of learning, praying and growing together. And now we’re extending our early bird discount through January 31 – so don’t miss out on this opportunity to save!  

 
Spend your first evening of CONNECTIONS 17 with friends and family
at Olmaya, overlooking Jerusalem

The World Union's CONNECTIONS biennial is one of the most anticipated global gatherings of Progressive Jews from around the world. Click here to learn more about CONNECTIONS including what makes it so special and why you should attend.

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Open to All: World Union Moves Main Entrance to Mercaz Shimshon
 
The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) is proud to announce the opening of the main lobby entrance of Mercaz Shimshon – Beit Shmuel. Built in 1986, Mercaz Shimshon and Beit Shmuel, together with Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), serve as a vibrant campus for Progressive Judaism in the heart of Jerusalem. Offices for the World Union and the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) are situated atop picturesque courtyards, gardens, meeting spaces, classrooms, catering halls, a theater and more. The Dick Hirsch Theater boasts a range of cultural and educational performances throughout the year. 

 
The new entrance to Mercaz Shimson - Beit Shmuel in downtown Jerusalem

Relocating the entrance is intended to update and unify the Mercaz Shimshon – Beit Shmuel complex; the new entrance on Shama Street will now serve as a welcome point for all those attending events and conferences, as well as hotel guests. Additionally, and perhaps most significant, the new entrance will ensure accessibility for visitors with special needs and for those who have difficulty climbing stairs.

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Recognizing their Growth, Progressive Judaism Germany Honors Rabbi Joel Oseran 

On January 14, 2017, Rabbi Joel Oseran, Vice President Emeritus of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), received the Israel Jacobson Award in recognition of his extraordinary work in establishing the Union for Progressive Judaism Germany as a publicly recognized federal organization for progressive Judaism in Germany. 

 
Dr. Tom Kucera speaking about Rabbi Joel Oseran
at the Israel Jacobson award ceremony

Seventeen Progressive congregations from across Germany were represented by their boards at the ceremony; many institutions and city officials were also in attendance. Rabbi Dr. Tom Kucera was the keynote speaker, and presented a moving tribute to Rabbi Oseran’s many years of service to the cause. Miriam Kramer, Chairman of the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), and Sonja Guentner, President of the Union Progressiver Juden in Deutschland (UpJ Germany) addressed the audience as well. Cantor Paul Yuval Adam was accompanied by Prof. Dr. Ralph Selig at the organ.

 
From left: Dr. Tom Kucera, Miriam Kramer, Rabbi Joel Oseran
and Sonja Guentner at the Israel Jacobson Award Ceremony in Germany 

Israel Jacobson was a banker, respected businessman and doctor of philosophy, who is perhaps best known by Reform Judaism as founder of the first "modern" Reform Jewish school 200 years ago. Today, the prize, awarded in his name every two years, honors figures who have contributed significantly to local Jewish Reform congregations and our global Jewish community as one. 

The World Union joins the UpJ Germany in honoring Rabbi Joel Oseran with this award for his dedication and inspiration in growing vibrant and engaged communities in Germany.

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Netzer News

Shnat Netzer Gap Year: Opportunities for Environmental Action with Reform Judaism in Israel 

Putting Shnat Netzer in the spotlight, Emma Jacobs contributed this essay to The Guardian as part of the newspaper’s focus on gap year programs that allow “students to change the world”. Emma, a 2016-17 Shnat Netzer participant originally from London, shares her experiences volunteering at Kibbutz Lotan, a Reform kibbutz founded in 1983 in Israel’s Negev region that is affiliated with both the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) and the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). Kibbutz Lotan is an eco-conscious community that interweaves egalitarian Judaism with a deep commitment to environmental protection. 

 
Emma Jacobs (middle) builds a mud hut at Kibbutz Lotan
during Shnat Netzer / Photograph: Emma Jacobs

“I’ve found there’s more to the kibbutz experience than just an ecological education. We’re learning to live a truly communal life. It can be tough, but living in an “intentional community” feels like valuable training for university and a life of work,” wrote Emma. 

Shnat Netzer is a ten-month leadership training program for young adults in Israel that facilitates individual development within Reform Jewish and Zionist ideologies, while experiencing and living in Israel. 

For more information on Shnat Netzer, click here.

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Live from Israel: Lawyer Up!

Justice, Justice You Shall Pursue: Pre-CONNECTIONS Seminar for Legal Professionals May 13-17, 2017
 
The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), in cooperation with the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), is proud to invite legal professionals to experience and understand Israel from its most provocative, challenging and complex perspective: the law. 

 
Click here for details and to sign up today!

Spend five days meeting with leading politicians, judges, legislators, professors, attorneys and activists, each presenting a different facet of the prism that comprises Israel’s national and international law. Tour the Israeli Supreme Court and meet with justices; visit the Knesset and discuss legislation with ministers; debate the issues with fellow professionals from around the world for a unique, global perspective. *With CLE accreditation for participants from the US. 

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Condolences


To Lady Anna Cowen on the tragic death of her youngest son, Ben Cowen z”l

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) joins the Australian Jewish community of Melbourne in mourning the tragic sudden death of Ben Cowen, youngest son of former Governor-General, the late Sir Zelman Cowen and his wife Lady Anna Cowen. Ben was an active and dedicated leader of the Jewish community, volunteering for the United Israel Appeal, the King David School Board, and the Community Security Group. His family recently celebrated the bar mitzvah of his son Mitch and the twin bat mitzvahs of his daughters Alexandra and Charley. “He was a person of boundless positivity, generosity and good naturedness,” his brother Rabbi Shimon Cowen reflected. Ben is survived by his wife Lahra and his three children.
 
May Ben’s memory be for a blessing and may the mourners be comforted by the strength and support of their family and community.

To read more about Ben Cowen’s legacy in The Australian Jewish News, click here.

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To Ruth Cohen on the passing of her sister, Dorie Ruben z”l

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) extends its deepest condolences to Ruth and Harvey Cohen on the passing of Ruth’s sister, Dorie Rubin. A stalwart supporter of Reform Judaism and Israel, the World Union wishes strength and comfort to the surviving family members, her children Rachel Gerrard, Naomi Hartnell and Daniel Rubin, and siblings Ruth Cohen and Len Goodman.

May Dorie’s memory be for a blessing and may you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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To Rabbi Elyse Frishman on the passing of her father, Dr. Jack Frishman z”l

Leadership and staff of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) send their condolences to Rabbi Elyse Frishman and Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander on the passing of Dr. Jack Frishman at age 95. “He had a true passion for life and strongly influenced all who knew him,” read the obituary in The New York Times. Dr. Frishman is survived by wife of 63 years, Joan; children Elyse (Danny), Alan (Lily), Terry (Gary), Gary (Meredith); and grandchildren: Adam, Julie, Jonah, Devra; Dana, Laura, Ethan; Ivy, Rebecca; Sam, Caroline, Henry. Contributions may be offered in honor or memory of Dr. Frishman to the World Union

May his memory be for a blessing and may the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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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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