The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) mourns the passing of our dedicated leader, long-time supporter, and dear friend, Paula Edelstein, Z”L, following a long and brave battle with illness.
Paula was an advocate and pioneer for Reform Judaism, serving on the boards of many influential global Jewish and Israeli organizations. In addition to her roles as member of the WUPJ Executive Board and Management Committee, and boards of Netzer Olami and Tamar Olami, Paula served: Chair of the IMPJ Executive Board, Executive Director of ARZENU the International Federation of Reform Zionist movements, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Israel Religious Action Center, Chair of the IMPJ Keren B’Kavod Humanitarian Fund, Member of the Executive of the WZO, Chair of the Israel Department of the Jewish Agency, Chair of the Aliyah Department of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization.
Rabbi Richard Hirsch shared this reflection on Paula’s immeasurable impact on our global Movement:
Baruch Dayan Haemmet.
Paula was beloved by everyone who knew her… [And] Our Movement has lost an “isha extraordinair” “achat b’mina”… She was a natural born leader, serving in many capacities, chief among them as Chairperson of the IMPJ and a representative of our Movement at the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) Executives.
In whatever capacity Paula served, she always acted with a quiet dignity and spoke her mind openly, often disagreeing with the general consensus and suggesting independent and creative positions. Her colleagues invariably respected her for her fundamental integrity and total commitment to the cause.
She was always available, always tireless, always ready to serve.
I personally loved and respected her very much. I considered her a wise counselor and we often confided in each other on personal and institutional issues. She could always be counted on to recommend a path which was best for the Movement and for individuals.
May the “maasim tovim” of Paula’s distinguished life impact on the character and values of all who were privileged to know and love her.
Yehi Zichra Baruch
The family will sit shiva in their home in Jerusalem, Rehov Ha Shachar 8. Individuals wishing to pay shiva visits are requested to register ahead of time due to Corona restrictions here.
Condolence messages can be sent to the family by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding memorial services and other details, please refer to this link from the IMPJ.
We extend our deepest condolences to Don, Paula’s life partner, her sons Joey and Cobi and their spouses Zahava and Irit, to her brothers Mark and Sam, their seven grandchildren, and to the whole family.
And we will continue to memorialize the impact of Paula’s blessed work across our global Movement – in Israel, the US, and elsewhere – for years to come.