K’lal Yisrael – one Jewish people. It is not surprising that WRJ offers us an opportunity to connect and partner with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). You may think of Argentina or Australia as places where Jews live, but do you also think of China or the Czech Republic? Would you guess that the Progressive Jewish community is experiencing resurgence in Germany, Spain, and Russia? It is WUPJ’s goal to ensure that all Jews have access to a vibrant and personally meaningful Jewish life.
Join the World Union for Progressive Judaism for an evening of celebration. The Gala Dinner will honor the dean of the HUC-JIR/Jerusalem Taube Family Campus, Rabbi Naamah Kelman; and the Rabbi Emeritus of the Kol Haneshama Congregation in Jerusalem and President of the Rabbis for Human Rights, Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman. As part of the URJ Biennial, the celebration will pay special tribute to Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, President, 2014-19.
Rabbi Julia Margolis, from Beit Luria Progressive Shul in Johannesburg, was invited by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community South Africa to participate in their Interfaith Peace Symposium and talked about Unity in Diversity.
On October 29, the World Union in New York hosted a Planned Giving Webinar, offering participants a new way to think about legacy giving. Middle income donors often feel like they can’t afford to make a major gift to an organization they care about, but legacy donors are among our most valued major donors.
During Sukkot celebration in October, the Sandra Breslauer Beit Simha Center in Minsk hosted its annual “Readings in the Sukkah” where guests took part in reading from Ecclesiastes (“Kohelet”) and prayers for peace in eight languages, as by Irina Belskia, Beit Simha’s Jewish educator. Festival participants developed the initiative to create an interfaith text for reflection to read at various memorial services after a peace prayer.
The World Union joins members of our global movement – in Germany and around the world – in expressing our horror and sadness upon hearing of the brutal attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany. We grieve the loss of life and the terror enacted upon those who came together to pray on Yom Kippur, the holiest of days in the Jewish calendar.
We are excited to welcome Nicki Braun to lead Netzer Olami in a newly-envisioned role for the global movement. Nicki grew up in Netzer Australia, participated in Shnat Netzer Gap Year in Israel, and took on key leadership roles. Now that she moved to Jerusalem, Nicki will play a key role in Shnat Netzer, the Progressive Jewish Gap Year program in Israel, and will spend time in communities around the world during her tenure.
The 11th Progressive Synagogue in South Africa and the first Progressive Shul opened by a female rabbi celebrated its official opening receiving a Torah scroll donated by Rabbi Hillel Cohn of San Bernardino in California, USA.
Rabbis Malcolm Matitiani and Emma Gottlieb, from Temple Israel in Cape Town, were invited to greet the Duke & Duchess of Sussex on their visit to the Auwal Mosque in Bo-Kapp on September 24.
The Beutel Seminar for Progressive Jewish Leadership brings together Reform Jewish leaders from around the world for ten days of learning, sharing, and experiencing the vibrancy of our movement in Israel.