About the WUPJ Center for Leadership Development and Education

Our Israel Seminars challenge and motivate Progressive Jewish leaders, Educators, Young Adults, Social Activists, College Students and Committed Jewish learners inside Israel in a matchless international setting.

Participants come to the center from Reform and Progressive Jewish communities from around the world: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the United States.

How We Do It

The Center interweaves spiritual, intellectual and sensory experiences for a dynamic Jewish journey. Our curriculum takes a holistic, integrated learning approach guided by prayer text study, field study, the arts and leadership. Our seminars energize participants, who return to their homes both intellectually and spiritually renewed.


We explore the important connection between prayer and spirituality through traditional and innovative experiences. By orchestrating a wide variety of prayerful encounters, we help participants reflect upon the meaning of worship both in their communities and in their own personal lives

The House of Study

A rabbinic parable asks, “Where is God?” The rabbis answer “God is looking through the windows of the Beit Midrash.” The Beit Midrash is a critical part of all Jewish learning where we encounter the text and each other through the process of chevrutah (by acquiring a study partner). This method reflects our philosophy that Judaism does not happen alone.

Field Study

The Center combines the intensity of sacred text with the majesty of sacred space. Texts and ideas come alive in visits to sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel directly connected to the sources and subjects we explore. During our seminars we don’t just read about David’s ascension to Jerusalem with the Ark but study the text at the site where the event occurred.

Arts and Culture

One of the miracles of modern day Israel is its vibrant public Jewish culture. From theater to musical concerts to stand-up comedy, the Center uses this rich spectrum of artistic creativity to bridge the Israel of the Bible with the Israel of today.


Our goal is for participants to realize their own leadership potential as well as develop a feeling of responsibility and deep-rooted connection with the Jewish people. We encourage participants to journey inward, find their true voice, and return with a new sense of mission and commitment to their communities.