September 2018 | Tishrei 5779
As we approach this New Year of change and promise, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the privilege I have felt serving as President of the World Union since 2014.
I have announced that I will retire as WUPJ President in June 2019. For 44 years I have worked with remarkable volunteer and professional leaders who create and nurture strong and vibrant Reform and Progressive congregations around the globe. Their energy and dedication continue to inspire me.
Serving the World Union has been uplifting and invigorating. For the last five years I have laboured to implement our WUPJ mission with clarity and focus, and to solidify the organization’s finances and administration. Now is the time for a new leader to provide even greater vision for our international movement. A committee, under the leadership of WUPJ Vice-chair Stephane Beder will conduct the search for my successor.
We are extraordinarily proud of the accomplishments of this past year. Our biennial conventions were overflowing with Progressive Jewish creativity. In Recife, Boston, Prague, Shefayim, and Johannesburg, we welcomed an unprecedented number of youth and young adults exploring new visions of Jewish identity and practice. We met dozens of future rabbis from Reform movement seminaries in North America, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Potsdam, London and Jerusalem committed to leading our communities in the decades ahead. We brought Torah scrolls to new congregations in Israel and Spain.
In this world of uncertainty and dissonance, we have planted seeds for the future of an open, dynamic, ethical and Progressive Jewish future. Thank you all for being a part of this sacred journey.
May 5779 be a year of peace and fulfilment for you and those you love.
Rabbi Daniel Freelander