[EUROPE] Twinning Congregations: Geneva GIL and Beit Hillel Roma

Twinning Meet up between Reform Congregations in Geneva and Rome, February 2019

Twinning Meet up between Reform Congregations in Geneva and Rome, February 2019Beth 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.

The visit took place from February 7th to 10th, 2019.

The delegation from Geneva was headed by their President Alexander Dembitz and was composed of members of their board and their Rabbi Francois Garai. On Beth Hillel Rome side the board was present with their President Stefano Ridolfi and their Rabbi Joel Oseran.

On February 7th there was a joint board meeting of the two congregations in which Beth Hillel Rome illustrated their 5 year strategic plan. During the meeting GIL presented the main highlights about their congregation.

In the evening Kabalat Shabbat was officiated by Rabbi Joel Oseran , during which Rabbi Garai gave a very meaningful Derasha, followed by a lovely community dinner during which members of GIL could meet Beth Hillel members.

On Shabbat morning Rabbi Joel Oseran officiated Shacharit. At the end of the service the traditional Roman Birkat HaCohanim was given to all participants to celebrate the special occasion.

Twinning Meet up between Reform Congregations in Geneva and Rome, February 2019A Shabbat lunch was organized to give the opportunity for board members and leaders of both communities to know each other better and discuss their common area of responsibilities such as culture, education, finance, religious affairs, and administrative matters.

In the evening there was a very special  Havdalah ceremony and dinner which were held in a restaurant in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome in premises where there was once an ancient Synagogue dated to the 9th century CE. The evening was a lovely occasion for the GIL delegation to get to know more members of Beth Hillel Rome.

On Sunday morning the GIL delegation enjoyed a guided tour (in French) of the Jewish Ghetto, Museum and Synagogue.

The Sunday lunch took place in a Jewish kosher restaurant and was dedicated to identify the objectives of the cooperation with practical proposals for joint projects.

Twinning can provide very important exchanges between communities and can help younger communities to grow with mentoring and support from the more established ones. In appreciation and in recognition of the visit, congregation Beth Hillel presented a Plaque to congregation GIL thanking them for their visit and commending them on undertaking this important twinning relationship.

A special thank you goes to Michael Reik of EUPJ, who helped the two congregations to team up.


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