Read all about the World Union’s strategy for Inspiring the Next Generation
In 1984, two kindergarteners from Country Day School in San Jose, Costa Rica (Saul Herckis and Alberto Bonilla) discovered they were Jewish. Their parents, who did not belong to the Centro Israelita, the only synagogue in the country at that time, because they were not Orthodox in their believes or practices, began to meet weekly to celebrate Shabbat. They were soon joined by other families who sought communal prayer and celebration in a more spiritual, and less rigorous, Jewish framework.
And in those first gatherings, Communidad B’nei Israel of Costa Rica was born.
A special event by Arzenu Hungary, the local Zionist organisation of the Reform movement, and the Israeli Cultural Institute was many months in the making. Erika and Tamas from Arzenu invited two outstanding presenters, educators from the unique Arava region of Southern Israel to offer a glimpse of the amazing intellectual capacity, wonderful green projects, research and entrepreneurship thriving in this wild and beautiful, remote desert landscape.
The Elul Seminar of the Eastern European Council of Reform Rabbis took place in Odessa in early September 2017, with six rabbis from across Russia, Belarus and Eastern Europe for coming together for a three-day seminar that fosters sharing ideas, stories and inspiration for preparing prayers, sermons and events for the upcoming Jewish month of Tishrei.
The World Union is proud to announce the creation and launch of a newly-created IberoAmerican Institute for Reform Rabbinical Education (IIFRR) on September 7, 2017. In partnership with its regional organization, the World Union for Progressive Judaism – Latin America, Fundación Judaica and Centro de Espiritualidad Judía Mishkan, the Institute will training educators, community leaders and rabbis in Spanish and Portuguese to growth and strengthen Progressive Judaism across the region.
On September 19, while visiting New York to speak at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accused the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel of using their partnership in the Western Wall agreement as a clandestine way to gain recognition. The World Union, along with its regional affiliates, responded to his charges with the following statement.
2017 was a summer to remember – full of Jewish enrichment, leadership engagement, and activities for children and young adults all over the globe. If you’ve ever wondered about the scope of impact and outreach by Netzer Olami, the World Union’s youth and young adult movement, then read up on all the numbers and details below:
Read about the highlights and impact of the work of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in 2016. We’re telling the stories from our congregations and members around the world that strengthen and unite our movement.
Our hearts are with our Reform communities in Houston, who are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. For ways you and your congregations can help, visit Five Jewish Ways to Help After Hurricane Harvey via the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) in North America.
What is your vision for Shnat?
We want to create bogrim who care for the Jewish people and play an active role in shaping it. I want to reach as many young progressive Jews as possible, and will work to make sure that chanichim from all around the world are included. It is very important for the shnatties to have a personal connection with the state of Israel and it’s people and work in cooperation with Noar Telem in Israel.