The UPJ Biennial, held in Melbourne, Australia on 15-18 November, hosted more than 220 attendees from around the UPJ region (which covers Australia, New Zealand and Asia), with additional representatives from the UK, Israel and the US.
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.
Twenty-five teens gathered from five cities for the most recent Asian Progressive Judaism (APJ) Teen Leadership weekend, held in Singapore from 11-13th May. Communities in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bali and Jakarta were all represented by their young people, accompanied by their rabbis and lay leadership. The group were treated to a tour of Jewish […]
[On February 14th] the town of Parkland, Florida made the news because of a school shooting that left 17 people dead—most of them teenagers. There are now about 5 such shootings each month in America. Since 20 first graders were killed in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, there have been some 239 school shootings, taking 138 innocent lives, injuring and traumatising countless more. That is, since I’ve been with you here in Sydney, 240 school shootings have taken place in America, and many more at large public venues, like music concerts and night clubs.
Condemnation From Across our Global Movement: The World Union And Regions Respond to Netanyahu’s Comments on Reform Judaism
On September 19, while visiting New York to speak at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel of using their partnership in the Western Wall agreement as a clandestine way to gain recognition. The World Union, along with its regional affiliates, responded to his charges with the following statement.
I’m writing this drash in the week of the Wall: the week when the Israeli government decided to freeze its promise, negotiated through the good offices of the Jewish Agency over 18 months ago, to legalise freedom of religion at the Kotel by permitting egalitarian worship in a specially marked section. Though that section, the Wall’s southern expanse at Robinson’s Arch, has been used for egalitarian worship services for several years, the agreement would formally incorporate it into the Wall precinct and at the same time protect it from a rabbinical takeover.
In accordance with protocol, Carole Sterling as chair empaneled a resolutions committee to spearhead the process of requesting, formulating and editing possible resolutions to be introduced before the IA at the meeting on 17-May 2017, at 14.00-16.30, in Jerusalem, prior to the opening of CONNECTIONS 2017. The committee was chaired by Philip Bliss of Australia, […]
Sunday, May 28, 2017 was a memorable day for members of Thailand Progressive Jewish Community (TPJC). Joy and love filled the air as TPJC celebrated its first Jewish wedding. Our dear Thai Jews-by-choice members, Mr. Sanpat (Job) Suwannathat and Mrs. Patthera (Max) Suwannathat were remarried in a traditional Jewish ceremony, continuing their journey into Judaism. […]