I Am is God | Parashat Va’era

Rabbi Rami Shapiro | One River Foundation The opening verses of our parasha reveals the true nature of God; a revelation that invites us to…

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[RUSSIA] Dedication of the Frances Aaron Hess Memorial Library at the Institute for Modern Jewish Studies in Moscow

On October Monday October 15th, the World Union, and its partners in the Institute for Modern Jewish Studies – Russian State  University, Abraham Geiger Kolleg, and Potsdam University – came together to dedicate and open the Frances Aaron Hess Memorial Library at the Institute.

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Global Hope Coalition Award to Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur

MJLF Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur was chosen by the international foundation Global Hope Coalition  as one of five 2018 “Heroes Against Extremism and Intolerance”.  The award was made by Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, on 28 September, in the presence of heads of state and government present in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.   Delphine Horvilleur was the first rabbi to receive this global award.  Serge and Beate Klarsfeld were honoured in this way when these awards were first granted in 2016.

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[INDONESIA] High Holidays 2018—Bali Style

This is an unusual travelogue for me.

The afternoon before Rosh Hashanah, I was eating lunch at a Balinese vegan food restaurant with a Frenchman.  He was telling me that he had put up a mezuzah on the door of his Balinese hotel room, when three lovely young Indonesian women, sisters from Jakarta, turn from their table and say, “I just couldn’t help but overhearing.  Shanah Tova!”

This year I volunteered to serve a small and unusual kehillah (community) in Bali, Indonesia.

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[ASIA] Sukkot in Asia 5779

This year Sukkot was celebrated by WUPJ Communities across the Asian continent this year with much joy and in a uniquely Asian style. At the United Jewish Congregation in Hong Kong, their Sukkah frame survived the lashings of Typhoon Mangkhut which swept through the city before Yom Kippur. Luckily there was no s’kach covering on […]

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[PORTUGAL] Rosh Hashanah in Lisbon: A Tale of Discovering Connections and Family

Earlier this year, while I was diarising our summer cruise dates, I realised that we would land in Lisbon the morning before Rosh Hashanah. I knew we had a Progressive/Reform kehillah there – Ohel Jakov – as I had had the pleasure of meeting some of the community members four years earlier; and so I contacted their passionate leader and champion – Adriana de Souza – and arranged for us to join them for dinner and a service on Erev Rosh Hashanah, in their proudly sacred space– a five room apartment (up three flights of stairs, in an old building, hidden away in a suburb of Lisbon), which they had recently reorganised, repainted and refreshed. They had a “synagogue”, library, meeting/dining room, office and kitchen with a small balcony.

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[SPAIN] New Cookbook From Reform Congregation in Madrid Offers Insight About Traditional Sephardic Rosh HaShanah Seder

Soon Jewish families and congregations around the world will be getting together to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Few are familiar with a Sephardic custom of a Rosh Hashanah Seder – a festive meal rich in symbolism. This new cookbook from the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid (English-language edition) is designed to teach people about this ancient tradition and – for those who are interested in organizing their own Seder – it provides recipes and tools to do it.

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A Message from a Fellow Traveler

Are you aware of the many opportunities that our global Reform Movement provides for all of us?  Because your congregation is part of the larger Reform Community, you belong to the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) here in North America or a similar national organization and to the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) connecting Jews around the world.  Our new Find a Community app – currently in app stores for iPhone and Android users – gives you all the information you need to find a Reform Congregation anywhere from Wheeling, West Virginia here in the USA to Warsaw Poland, or even from Buenos Aires to Budapest.

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