More than 60 young adults from the global Progressive movement from 14 countries came together for a weekend of learning, networking, sharing and growing together in Marseilles, France. The seminar was sponsored by both the WZO and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, Arzenu and Tamar Olami. We were generously hosted by Union Liberale Israelite de France (ULIF), Communite de Marseille for our opening event on Thursday evening, where we enjoyed a meal, and some TED Talks about innovation, political homelessness and veganism in Israel.
Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein, President of the World Union, met with the board of the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany, spoke at a reception of the Union in his honor on Saturday and was the guest of honor of the gala dinner on the occasion of the annual general meeting of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, addressing its delegates (orthodox and reform) as the only speaker.
[LATVIA/ LITHUANIA] Netzer UK Bogrim and Bogrot Tour of Riga and Vilnius Deepen Their Roots and Connections
On June 13-21, 12 Netzer and Tamar graduates – Bogrim and Bogrot traveled from the UK to Riga and Vilna as part of a BogTour of the Baltics that explored Jewish heritage, peoplehood, history and building stronger Progressive Jewish young adult communities across Europe.
July 7 saw the ordination of four new Progressive rabbis trained at Leo Baeck College: Rabbi Zahavit Shalev, Rabbi Cantor Gershon Silins, Rabbi Daniela Touati and Rabbi Igor Zinkov. They are going on to serve Liberal, Reform and Masorti congregations in the UK and Europe.
The Jewish Progressive Federation of Spain launched the leadership development program in Santiago de Compostella, on the 24th-26th of May, 2019. This is a half year program that will be concluded in Rota, in November.
The 24th General Assembly of the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany (UpJ, Union progressive Juden) has opened in Karlovy Vary, a town in the Czech Republic, on May 30, 2019. For the first time ever 350 delegates from 26 Jewish communities spent the weekend in a European partner country to network with Czech Jewry.
To support, connect and help develop the Progressive Judaism in Ukraine, a group of the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue (UK) spent last Shabbat with the congregations of Lviv (Teiva) and Lutsk.
On the 8th of May, 2019, Bnei Sefarad Reform congregation of Valencia, Spain celebrated with great joy and much excitement the donation of the Torah scroll written in Sephardic script, made by the congregation Shir Ami, Newtown, PA, USA.
On March 3 – 10, 2019, the Klal Yisrael Fellowship Cohort 5 came together in Paris, France for the second seminar of their fellowship year. The Klal Yisrael Fellowship program is a program of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) in collaboration with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), and the Israel Movement for Progressive and Reform Judaism (IMPJ). Klal Yisrael is enabled by a generous grant from Betty and Arthur Roswell. Participants, ages 21-30, meet for three seminars over the course of ten months – in Israel, North America and Europe – to collaborate and develop their capacity to impact an area of Jewish life that is important to them.
Beth Hillel Rome received the visit in Rome of a delegation from GIL Geneva as a first step in affirming a new twinning relationship between the two progressive congregations.