On December 11th, the World Union proudly welcomed more than 300 people to its Gala Dinner in Chicago, part of the URJ Biennial festivities. During the event rabbis were honored with the first Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch Award, named for WUPJ Honorary Life President, Rabbi Richard Hirsch, considered a chief architect of WUPJ’s efforts to build and support Progressive Judaism in Israel and around the world.
The sacred artifact of Jewish history will be returned home as a symbol of the rebirth of Jewish life in Central Europe. Reform Jewish Movement leaders chanted from this remarkable Torah scroll during Shabbat worship services at the URJ Biennial 2019.
Rabbi David Kunin, chair of the Council of Australian, New Zealander and Asian Progressive Rabbis, shares his impressions of the first Shabbat he spent with the Jewish Community of Jakarta, Indonesia.
The historical rabbinical leaders of the Reform Movement in Latin America constituted in Beit Din (Rabbinical Court) granted the first smichah to a graduate of the IberoAmerican Institute for Reform Rabbinical Education. Mazal Tov, Rabbi Diego Elman!
The 4th Tikkun Olam Seminar – an initiative of the Union of Reform Judaism in Latin America and Tamar, the young adult movement of Netzer Olami of the World Union – brought together 25 young Brazilian Jews from Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, Rio and Brasilia and architecture students from Espírito Santo to renovate the community center of the indigenous community of Vila do Areal.
The Leo Baeck Centre for Progressive Judaism celebrated its 70th anniversary at a festive dinner on 23 November. Special guest Rabbi Dr John Levi and Howard Nathan gave addresses, and Union for Progressive Judaism immediate past president Roger Mendelson presented certificates of appreciation to Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black and Dr Linda Stern for their editorial work on our region’s new machzor, Mishkan T’shuvah.
Organized by the Embassy of United Arab Emirates in South Africa and the Centre of Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, the summit “Year of Tolerance: Prospects for Peace and Stability in Africa” focused on how education and knowledge-sharing can be a powerful tool to raise awareness on tolerance in diversity.
2019 markes the 40th year of Netzer, the Reform Zionist Youth movement. Celebrations first took place during the Netzer Veida of January 2019. On November 23, two additional events were held by Netzer Australia graduates: the first, in Tel Aviv, a Shabbat retreat for Netzer graduates (bogrim) who have moved to Israel and Israeli emissaries (shlichim) who served the Jewish communities in Australia; and the second, in Melbourne, a large-scale celebration organized by Netzer bogrim and current participants.
It is with sadness that World Union shares the news of the passing of Rabbi Henry Sobel Z”L in Miami on November 22. The death of Henry Sobel, Brazil’s iconic rabbi and human rights activist, was mourned by Jewish and non-Jewish groups across Latin America’s largest nation.
More than 60 young adults from the global Progressive movement from 14 countries came together for a weekend of learning, networking, sharing and growing together in Marseilles, France. The seminar was sponsored by both the WZO and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, Arzenu and Tamar Olami. We were generously hosted by Union Liberale Israelite de France (ULIF), Communite de Marseille for our opening event on Thursday evening, where we enjoyed a meal, and some TED Talks about innovation, political homelessness and veganism in Israel.