Issue #508

26 February 2015 / 7 Adar 5775

Featuring

NFTY Turns 75: Netzer Embraced at URJ Youth Movement Celebration

Shabbat Shalom from Rio! CONNECTIONS 2015 Hosts Open their Homes to WUPJ Delegates

ARZENU's Day: Major Victory for Progressive Movement at WZO General Council 

Beutel International Progressive Jewish Leadership Seminar Celebrates a Bar Mitzvah

Towards a Responsible Zionism: ARZENU Chair's Report from Annual Meeting

CCAR and WUPJ Collaborate on Solidarity Trip to Brussels and Paris

Live From Israel
Congregation Spotlight
Dateline USA
Progressive on Campus: Leo Baeck College, United Kingdom
News Bits
    A Thousand Words
    Dear Reader

    Upcoming Events



    NFTY Turns 75: Netzer Embraced at URJ Youth Movement Celebration

    From February 13 to 17, the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY) welcomed 1,000 Jewish teenagers from across North America in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The teens were joined by 200 adult professionals and lay leaders who attended the Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ) Youth Summit at the NFTY Convention.

     
    A highlight of the five-day celebration was the NFTY Song Competition, which provided an opportunity for songwriters to share their music with other NFTYites across North America. The winner of the competition was revealed during the 75th Birthday Bash.

    Notable attendees included Rabbi Daniel Freelander, President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. ForRabbi Freelander, participating in NFTY's 75 birthday brought back many memories: "Forty years ago, as a young NFTY youth advisor, Jeff Klepper and I wrote a melody to the text of Shalom Rav. We hoped our campers and youth group members would enjoy singing it during services and song sessions.  Never did we imagine that within a generation it would become a ‘traditional’ melody, sung worldwide.

    That is the power of NFTY and Netzer. Young people experiment and re-express Jewish values in their own language and melodies. And if they are successful, their friends and students are transformed by the power of the music, the Jewish learning and community.  NFTY and Netzer provide Jewish memories that last a lifetime. 

     
    Jam Session: WUPJ President Rabbi Daniel Freelander leads the crowd in a moving rendition of Shalom Rav.

    Over 1000 NFTYites, 15 former NFTY presidents and 250 Youth professionals gathered in in Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate NFTY’s 75th anniversary.  And Jeff and I were there, honored to sing with the winner of the 2015 NFTY Song Competition, and to lead the crowd in a moving rendition of Shalom Rav. I am grateful to remember and salute the youth movement that allowed us to create and nurture this melody.  Happy 75th Birthday, NFTY." 
     
    Teenage Heaven: Atlanta was the scene for one wild 75th birthday party!

    The NFTY Convention enabled Anna Posner, an Etgar Councilor for the Netzer Olami Youth Movement in Israel, to "be surrounded by so many young, engaged and enthusiastic Progressive Jews. The energy created on convention was amazing. It was great to be welcomed in as the representative from Netzer Olami and see how keen many of the members of NFTY are to find more ways to connect with our international network of Progressive youth movements." 

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    Shabbat Shalom from Rio! CONNECTIONS 2015 Hosts Open their Homes to WUPJ Delegates

    CONNECTIONS 2015, the World Union for Progressive Judaism's worldwide celebration of our movement taking place May 13-16 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is an opportunity for visiting WUPJ delegates to experience the legendary carioca (native Brazilian) hospitality.  

    Members of host congregation Associação Religiosa Israelita (ARI) will be opening their homes and kitchens during the convention. The ARI will host delegates for a special Kabbalat Shabbat evening on May 15, which will include Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner with host families.

     
    Full House: The ARI congregation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Led by Rabbi Sergio Margulies and Rabbi Dario Bialer, the ARI community is a melting pot, with a refreshing mix of Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Jews-by-Choice contributing their unique backgrounds.

    Before the service, almost every worshiper joins in a festive meeting called hora do cafezinho (“little coffee time”), talking about the week and enjoying the company of friends.

    The ARI's main sanctuary is built in the shape of a desert tent, with two large stained glass lateral walls representing the openness of Judaism. Most Friday nights, the space is filled with around 500 people, members and non-members alike.

     
    Go on a Jewish musical journey in Rio: Andre Nudelman (left), and Oren Boljover (right), ARI's chazzanim.

    Religious services are almost all in Hebrew, with very little Portuguese. The ARI uses a homemade siddur in Hebrew and Portuguese for Kabbalat Shabbat.

    The ARI has two full-time chazzanim (cantors): Oren Boljover of Argentina and Andre Nudelman, who has been a member of the community since his youth. The music at Shabbat services includes many compositions by 19th-century German composers, along with more contemporary interludes, including jazz and just a touch of Brazilian and South American beats.

    In short, the ARI family is looking forward to meeting new WUPJ friends from around the world during what promises to be a Shabbat like no other!

    Ready for Rio? Online registration for CONNECTIONS 2015 is now available!

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    ARZENU's Day: Major Victory for Progressive Movement at WZO General Council 

    At the recent meeting of the World Zionist Organization's (WZO) Va'ad HaPoel (General Council), a joint faction that included the ARZENU International Federation of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists passed several important resolutions. Two of these will bring the WZO Settlements Division under closer scrutiny.  

    This is a major victory for the Progressive movement.

     
    ARZENU addresses a controversy: WZO's Settlements Division
    (image courtesy of WZO.org.il).

    The Settlement Division has come under public scrutiny in the past, most notably in the Sasson Report regarding unauthorized outposts in the West Bank. In the last several months, investigations by the press and in the Knesset have revealed that hundreds of millions of shekels were channeled through the Division annually, mostly for settlement activities in the West Bank.

     
    Two years ago, ARZENU initiated a WZO Executive decision requiring the Settlement Division to adopt rules of freedom of information. These new regulations did not bring about sufficient transparency. 

    In light of these factors, the Meretz faction drafted two resolutions to present to the WZO Va'ad HaPoel, which were amended by ARZENU and supported by Labour representatives, calling upon the WZO to:
    • Set up a "special internal auditor within the WZO who will examine the conduct of the Settlement Division." 
    • Ensure "complete transparency in relation to all the Settlement Division's activities and their financial costs."
    • “Restore the authority and complete control over the Settlement Division to the WZO."
    • Make information on the Settlement Division available in a timely fashion to leaders of all Knesset factions.
    • Implement all these actions within three months.
    When these resolutions were presented to the General Council, they passed with a significant majority.  

    According to Dalya Levy, Executive Director of ARZENU, "We must now ensure that the terms of the resolution are carried out.  We call upon all our Progressive constituents and allies to keep the issue alive.  With your help, we can be cautiously optimistic."
      
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    Beutel International Progressive Jewish Leadership Seminar Celebrates a Bar Mitzvah

    Between February 5 and 15, The Anita Saltz International Education Center conducted its thirteenth Beutel Seminar, a prestigious ten-day educational program in Jerusalem that offers the opportunity to study ancient texts and history; discuss current political and social issues; explore spiritual pathways and concepts of Jewish leadership - all within a Progressive Jewish context. . 

    Rabbi Steve Burnstein, Director of the Anita Saltz International Education Center, files this report:

    "Participants in this year’s Beutel Seminar joined us from Spain, Italy, France, Canada, Hungary, Poland, Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Israel and the United States for 10 days of workshops, site visits, discussions, and networking with Reform Jewish leaders from around the world.

    These experiences were supplemented by encounters with educators, activists, and leaders from the Israel Reform Movement. We learned much from Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Sally Klein-Katz, Kehilat Kol Haneshama, the IMPJ's Mechina program, Rabbi Benjie Gruber, Kibbutz Yahel and Kibbutz Lotan
     
    Field Trip: Beutelniks bask in the beauty of the sun-drenched Arava Valley at Kibbutz Lotan.

    One participant commented: “Those of us who focus so much time on building communities in our synagogues would do well to study the innovative ways the Israel Reform Movement is reaching out to the secular population and growing so significantly.”
    Beutelniks also engaged with people from many segments of Israeli society including religious Orthodox settler-activists, Palestinians and Bedouins.

    This year’s program featured sessions examining the lifecycle of a congregation; understanding the process of strategic planning; analyzing personal leadership qualities and addressing specific issues facing our communities as identified by the participants themselves.
     
    Last Lunch: Beutel Seminar participants conclude an amazing 10-day journey with a feast!

    It was a wonderful bonus that Austin Beutel joined this year’s seminar. Austin was pleased to see the program attracting such talented leaders from across the globe. 
    He commented on the changing nature of the participants and program to meet the changing needs of the WUPJ. As an active participant, Austin contributed tremendously to the program in meaningful ways that had an impact on everyone who attended the seminar.  

    We extend our special appreciation to Austin and Nani Beutel for their dedication to the leadership of our movement."

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    Towards a Responsible Zionism: ARZENU Chair's Report from Annual Meeting

    From February 15 to February 17, ARZENU met in Israel to address many of the most pertinent issues in the Progressive Zionist world. In addition, participants had the opportunity to visit innovative Progressive communities around the country. Below, is a summary of ARZENU Chair Rabbi Larry Englander's full report.

    "Our first activity was a visit to a detention centre in Holot, in the Negev.  This facility holds over 2,000 men who escaped the slaughter in Darfur and traversed hostile countries to arrive at the border between Egypt and Israel.  

    To date, Israel has declined to grant refugee status to them, which means that they cannot receive a work permit. We heard from a few young men how they slept in a park in Tel Aviv, finding the odd menial job, until they were rounded up by the Israeli police and taken to Holot. 

    Israel offers each of them US $3500 as a stipend to return to their country of origin and to their families. However, the men know that they would face arrest -- and perhaps death -- if they set foot in Sudan.  This places the State of Israel in a quandary. 
     
    Fled from Darfur, imprisoned in Israel: Sudanese refugees incarcerated in Holot speak with Yair Lootstein, ARZENU member and former chair of Jerusalem's Kol Haneshama congregation.

    We then took a trip to Sha'ar Hanegev, the region of Israel that surrounds the Gaza strip, and met with Student Rabbi Yael Karrie. While she completes her studies in Jerusalem, she also serves as "circuit rabbi" for a few kibbutzim and small communities in the region.  Most of the people she works with would consider themselves to be secular, but are attracted to Yael's expression of Reform Judaism that is inclusive of many people and points of view.  

    Next, we witnessed the same phenomenon in Gedera, where Rabbi Miri Hovav serves a fledgling congregation of young families who conduct creative Shabbat services and engage in acts of Tikkun Olam in their community.  
     
    Southern Comfort: Student Rabbi Yael Karrie's brand of Progressive Judaism has impressed communities where she served.

    After our own meetings were concluded, we attended the sessions of the World Zionist Organization, where Arzenu represents the worldwide Reform movements.  We discussed resolutions that challenged us to chart the future for Zionism both within Israel and abroad."  

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    CCAR and WUPJ Collaborate on Solidarity Trip to Brussels and Paris

    The WUPJ and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) have joined forces on an important mission to Europe.

    From April 19 to 24, the Solidarity Trip to Brussels and Paris will explore the impact of anti-Semitism on Western European Jewry and Progressive/Reform congregations.


    Join Rabbi Rick Block CCAR's President and Rabbi Dan Freelander, WUPJ's President, for meetings with political, journalistic and Jewish communal leaders.

    After departing from the United States on April 19, the program begins on April 20 in Brussels. Participants will visit some of the city's Muslim neighborhoods; meet with representatives of the Jewish community and tour the Jewish Museum, where four people were murdered last May.

    Between April 21 and 23, the Solidarity Trip will be in Paris. 

     
    (image by elsablog.com)

    The itinerary for April 21 includes a tour through Tour Le Marais, the old Jewish neighborhood; a lecture about the challenges facing French Jewry today, to be presented by Roger Cukierman, President of the Conseil Representatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) and Ariel Goldman, President of Fonds Social Juif Unifié  (FSJU) and a visit to the Memorial de la Shoah. 

    On April 22, participants will, among many other scheduled stops, visit the mixed neighborhoods of Sarcelles and Creteil, the Parisian suburbs where Jews and Muslims live side by side and where anti-Israel and anti-Semitic protests occurred over the summer.

    On April 23, the mission will visit Hyper Cacher, the kosher supermarket recently attacked by terrorists. Participants will also be taken to the Nissim de Camondo Museum and learn about the tragic story of a wealthy Jewish family expelled from Spain in 1492. 

    The departure flight back to the United States will be on April 24. 

    This well planned trip will provide you with a thorough understanding of how the local Jewish communities are responding to the recent acts of terror.  

    Shabbat options with local congregations can be arranged upon request.  

    Complete program and registration information available here.


    Live From Israel

    Cracking the Code: WUPJ Webinar Makes Sense out of Upcoming Israeli Elections

    On February 18, The WUPJ's Anita Saltz International Education Center broadcast the premier webinar in its series, 'Dateline Everywhere: Getting Briefed on the Latest News from the Progressive Jewish World.' This first presentation, 'The Politics of Contradiction,' featured Professor Paul Liptz guiding viewers through the byzantine Israeli electoral system.
     
    Confused? Get clear by watching the 'The Politics of Contradiction' webinar. 

    The next 'Dateline Everywhere' webinar is titled 'Straight Talk Express: New WUPJ President Rabbi Daniel Freelander's Innovative Plan for Progressive Jewry.' Rabbi Freelander will discuss a wide range of hot button issues affecting the Progressive Jewish World.

    Stay tuned for more information about this exciting new webinar!

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    Why Vote ARZA? This One Minute Will Explain it All…

    Beginning this past January, elections have been taking place at the World Zionist Organization to decide which organizations will represent Zionism at this international institution. Ballots close at the end of April.

    Progressive Jews around the world are urged to exercise their democratic right and vote in the upcoming election for ARZA.

    Voting for ARZA will have a direct influence on both the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) as well as the WUPJ.

    You are invited to watch a message by Rabbi Gilad Kariv, IMPJ Executive Director, on why it's important to make your voice heard by taking part in this Zionist democratic process. 

    A minute of your time: view Rabbi Gilad Kariv's important message now.

    The WZO plays a vital role in determining policy related to education, Jewish identity for Israelis and Jews worldwide, and issues of religious freedom and gender equality. 

    ARZA, the single largest supporter of the Israel Reform Movement and IRAC, works to foster Jewish Peoplehood and a state in which the ideals of pluralism, equality and peace help to secure prosperous, fulfilling Jewish lives for all. 

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    Mother Earth on Sabbatical: IMPJ Community Teaches Children about the Environment

    The Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) is using the Sabbatical Year as an educational opportunity. In light of this year being a Shnat Shmita, the children at Gan Zait of Modi'in's Kehillat Yozma community learned all about environmental sustainability and ecology by making recycled paper. 
     
    Eco-warriors: Children at Gan Zait in Modi'in Kehilat Yozma.

    The children separated trash into recyclable and non-recyclable items, and experimented with the Gan’s compost. The result was the creation of three A4 sheets, all made out of recycled materials.

    During Shmita, the land is left to lie fallow and all agricultural activity, including plowing, planting, pruning and harvesting, is forbidden by halakha. 

    Learn more about what Israeli Progressive communities have been up to!

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    Sample a Most Extraordinary Life: HUC-JIR's Jerusalem Campus to Conduct Open House

    On March 26, Jerusalem's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) will be opening its doors to prospective students. Participants will have the opportunity to meet current students and study with HUC-JIR's exceptional faculty. 


    In addition, attendees will experience Reform Judaism through music, prayer, social action, and scholarships while exploring the campuses' libraries, museums, and archives. 

    Interested in discovering career paths that can transform your life and bring meaning to others? If so, the HUC-JIR's Open House on March 26 is the place to be!

    Learn more about this extraordinary opportunity now.

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    For Art's Sake: Beit Shmuel Brings 'Good Tidings' in New Exhibit

    Fruma Kidron and Roni Weiss, two prominent figures in the world of Jewish Folk Art, have combined forces on a joint exhibition that will be opening March 26 at 
    Beit Shmuel-Mercaz Shimshon, the World Union for Progressive Judaism's headquarters in Jerusalem. 

    Two artists, one creation: Beit Shmuel's new exhibit is the bearer of good tidings.

    'Good Tidings' is a compelling reflection of an artistic dialogue between Kidron and Weiss that deals with similar content themes, explored by gently intermingling art and faith.

    The focal point for the two artists is the Jewish life cycle, which includes prayers and significant life events. These Jewish milestones are studied by cleverly combining texts, sometimes as short as one word, with eye-catching Israeli landscapes.

    The clear message conveyed by 'Good Tidings' is that art and aesthetics are designed to beautify and adorn the written word, so as to portray the world as essentially harmonious and hopeful.

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    Jewish Agency Board of Governors Gathers in Jerusalem to Discuss Anti-Semitism, Jewish Life, Aliyah*

    Jewish leaders from around the world, members of the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel, convened in Jerusalem from February 22 to February 24 to discuss the most pressing issues affecting the Jewish world, including rising anti-Semitism in Europe and increasing Aliyah from France and Ukraine.

    Progressive Jewish leaders from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Australia and Israel attended the three-day gathering. ARZENU, the umbrella organization of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists, ably represented the interests of the movement in Israel.

     
    President of Israel Reuven Rivlin and Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat addressed the gathering, as did Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Natan Sharansky and Chairman of the Board of Governors Charles Ratner.

    Participants also heard from Damian Pachter, the Argentine journalist who reported on the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman last month in Buenos Aires.

    (*Article originally posted on Israelnationalnews.com)

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    Congregation Spotlight 

    A Monumental Bat Mitvah at Sim Shalom Progressive Jewish Congregation, Budapest

    The Sim Shalom congregation was officially established in 1992, as many Hungarian Jews were beginning to discover their religious heritage. For over twenty years, the kehila has been welcoming men and women into the warm embrace of Progressive Judaism. 

    Sim Shalom is led by Rabbi Katalin Kelemen, Hungary's first and only female rabbi. 

    On the second Shabbat of January, a very special event took place at Sim Shalom: the double Bat Mitzvah of the Miklos twins, Lili and Hajni. The twin milestones' wider importance was that they marked the first B'nai Mitzvah where the life cycle of an entire family took place within the congregation's walls. 
     
    Dynamic Duo: Lili and Hajni Miklos come of age at Sim Shalom, Budapest.

    Parents Ili and Gabor met at Sim Shalom about 15 years ago. Their two girls were raised in Budapest after the family had returned from the United States, educated in the Sim Shalom Talmud Torah, trained by Rabbi Kelemen for their ceremony, and - of course - the Bat Mitzvah ceremonies took place inside Sim Shalom's Synagogue. 

    The twin daughters delivered two very thoughtful drashot. Along with younger sister Vera reading the portions in Hungarian and parents Ili and Gabor speaking about their journey from the United States to Hungary, this was indeed a family affair.

    In addition, Lili and Hajni's ceremonies were watershed events for yet another reason: the two girls were twinned with two Bar Mitzvah boys from the West London Synagogue, marking a new relationship between the two congregations.

    To learn about ways to support Sim Shalom, click here.

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    Dateline USA

    Central Conference of American Rabbis to Meet in Philadelphia for Annual Convention

    Between March 15 and March 18, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America, will convene in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA for a series of wide ranging discussions, presentations and text studies.

     

    The program will open with a couple of sessions centered on the theme of 'The Changing Face of American Culture and Its Implications for the Rabbinic Community.'

    In addition, an entire day of the gathering will be dedicated to the topic of human rights.

    Another expected highlight will be an in depth analysis of Election Day (March 17) in Israel. The event will be moderated by Denise Eger, incoming CCAR President, and be sponsored by ARZA

    As a conference tailored to rabbis, various sessions connected to 'Practical Rabbinics' will also be delivered. 

    The CCAR, established in 1889, represents approximately 2,000 rabbis and the 1.5 million Jews they serve.

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    Progressive on Campus: Leo Baeck College, United Kingdom

    Leo Baeck College Rabbinical Student Channels Progressive Jewish Values to Fight on Behalf of Society's Most Vulnerable  

    WUPJ-affiliated Leo Baeck College is a pre-eminent institution of Jewish scholarship and learning that is open to all. Leo Baeck College combines inspirational, high calibre teaching with a commitment to enriching the intellectual and spiritual lives of the Progressive Jewish Community. Below, third year rabbinical student Naomi Goldman explains her dramatic transformation into a social justice advocate.

    "It was the day after National Holocaust Memorial Day and many of us were still feeling shaken by the recent murder of Jews in Paris, only three hours from London by train. 

    So some might have thought it counter-intuitive that more than 60 rabbis and cantors gathered at the House of Commons, not to discuss anti-Semitism, but to launch a new cross-communal organisation, called Tzelem: The Rabbinic Call for Social and Economic Justice in the UK. 
     
    Team Tzelem: (left to right) Student Rabbis Danny Newman and 
    Daniel Lichman, Rabbi Dr. Deborah Kahn-Harris, Principal of LBC, 
    Student Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen, 
    Rabbi Dr. Charles Middleburgh, Dean of LBC,
     Student rabbi Naomi Goldman.

    At a time when parts of our community seem intent on turning inwards, we were defiantly facing outwards, committing ourselves, as British rabbis and cantors, to continue our proud Jewish tradition of social activism and provide a critique of our society’s growing economic inequality and treatment of the vulnerable. 

    I am in the middle of my third year of rabbinic studies at Leo Baeck College, exactly half-way through my training. It seems an appropriate time to take stock and think about what I really want to achieve in the future as a British Progressive Rabbi. 

    It is time I think, to bring the two traditions together; to use our Progressive Jewish voice to campaign in the secular world for the vulnerable and the socially marginalized. 

    As Heschel once said: in a free society, some are guilty, all are responsible." 


    Why Did God Laugh? Introduction to Midrash with Rabbi Colin Eimer

    Why was Abraham chosen? Why did God laugh? When did God cry? Just how heavy were the Ten Commandments? The Torah is written in such a spare style that it leaves us with many questions unanswered. Midrash aims to flesh out what is in the Torah. It is where Jews find spirituality within theology. 
     

    The Leo Baeck College Lehrhaus 2015 is pleased to present four sessions that will explore the fascinating world of Midrash with Rabbi Colin Eimer.

    'Why Did God Laugh?' Will take place Tuesday evenings, March 3-March 24, 19:45-21:15.

    You may register by phone by calling +44 (0)20 8349 5600.

    Learn more about this exciting new course here.

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    News Bits

    History is Made with Induction of South Africa's First Female Rabbi at Bet David Synagogue

    The induction of South Africa’s first female Rabbi on February 8 was a historical first, and was attended by several dignitaries, including representatives from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and the German Embassy. 

    Rabbi Julia Margolis and Rabbi Adrian Schell were inducted at a ceremony at Bet David Progressive Synagogue in Morningside, Sandton, South Africa. Rabbi Emeritus Hillel Avidan led the ceremony.

       
    Mazal Tov Rabbi Julia Margolis  & Rabbi Adrian Schell

    Rabbi Schell hails from Germany and both he and Rabbi Margolis completed their rabbinic training at the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam. Speaking at the induction, the SAJBD's Charisse Zeiffert said: "We welcome you as future leaders within our community, and wish you all success. We look forward to working with you in the years to come."

    Herbert Beck, the deputy head of mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, also extended his congratulations. "It was such a joyous event and we all got the impression that something very good is starting in Morningside," he said. "We are humbled and moved by the fact that two Rabbis who have been educated at the Abraham Geiger Kolleg in Potsdam are now living and working as scholars and pastors in South Africa," Beck concluded.

    The two Rabbis have taken over rabbinical duties at Bet David following the retirement of Rabbi Robert Jacobs




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    Spreading the Message: German Parliamentarian Visits with WUPJ Leaders in Jerusalem

    On February 18, WUPJ President Rabbi Daniel Freelander and Shai Pinto, the WUPJ's Vice President Operations, COO, met with Petra Pau, Member of Parliament and Vice President of the German Parliament in Jerusalem.

    The meeting took place at Beit Shmuel-Mercaz Shimshon, the World Union for Progressive Judaism's headquarters. 

     
    A friend inside the German parliament: MP Petra Pau and WUPJ President Rabbi Daniel Freelander at Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem.

    MP Pau and WUPJ leaders discussed the movement's practical application of its global mission and values. The WUPJ's wide array of activities, in Germany and the rest of Europe, was a focal point of the meeting.

    Concerning the role of the WUPJ, the IMPJ and Beit Shmuel, MP Pau learned about how the Progressive Jewish movement is strengthening and spreading pluralistic values across Israeli society.

    During her tour of the cultural center, the German parliamentarian was told about the programs that Beit Shmuel, one of the few Jerusalem-based cultural centers to be open on Shabbat, has developed over the years that are based on the values of pluralism and inclusion.

    Shai Pinto was heartened by MP Pau's visit, saying, "We were proud to host MP Pau. We learned that the WUPJ's most cherished values have a place among distinguished partners and friends all over the world. Especially in light of Germany's dark past, the role that Ms Pau and others are having in building a just society that supports the country's Progressive Jewish community is inspiring."



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    A Thousand Words

    Tomorrow's Leaders Meet Today's President

     

    On February 23, Rabbi Daniel Freelander, President of the WUPJ, visited the 43 participants who are taking part in Netzer Olami's gap year program, Shnat Netzer. Rabbi Freelander spoke about the important work that the WUPJ is doing around the world in the areas of youth outreach, leadership development, congregational support and educational programs that emphasize Progressive, pluralistic values.

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    Upcoming Events


    May 13-16, 2015
     – CONNECTIONS 2015, World Union for Progressive Judaism(WUPJ) 37th Biennial Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    May 28-June 7, 2015
     - The Israel Study Kallah, Israel

    July 2-12, 2015 - 
    Bergman Seminar for Jewish Educators, Israel

    October 7-22, 2015
     - Israel - Poland Mission, Israel & Poland

    November 4–8, 2015
     – Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 73rd Biennial Conference, Orlando, Florida

    April 15-17, 2016
     - European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), Biennial Conference, London, UK

    May 27-28, 2016
     - Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) Conference, Israel













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