Issue # 101 – April 2016 / Adar II-Nissan/ 5776.
 5th Conference of the Jewish Communities in Latin America – special prices in April

With the theme "The continuity of democracy as a Jewish value", the WUPJ Latin America holds the 5th Conference of the Jewish communities in Latin America from June 23rd to the 25th, 2016, in partnership with some of the main institutions in São Paulo: CIP, Unibes Cultural, Albert Einstein Hospital and A Hebraica.

Registration is open, with promotional prices until April 30th! Up to 15% discount.
Do not miss this opportunity! For more details, click here.



 Classes from Mikrá, the Institute for Academic Jewish Studies
Last Monday, April 4th, Mikrá Institute classes started. With over fifty students registered for the first semester and a supreme teacher's team, Mikrá has the potential of becoming the Best Center for Jewish education in Latin America.

The Project, envisioned by Fundación Judaica and the WUPJ-LA, has as one of its main objectives empowering lay leaders, volunteers and professionals. Once more, Fundación Judaica and the WUPJ-LA come forward and offers tools for community building based on study and shared education.




 Translation of the Plaut Torah into Portuguese – participate in this project
Reform congregations in Brazil find unusual material and unacceptable excerpts in the books it uses in religious services, study groups and bar and bat mitzvah lessons. Some comments suggest that virginity is a sacred value and that contact with non-Jews can lead a person to the abyss. This happens because the different editions of Chumashim (the Torah and the Haftarot) in Portuguese are all orthodox in nature. The WUPJ Latin America has been working for over a year on the translation of these texts and recently we finished the text of the Torah.

This edition is based on the original text by Rabbi Gunther Plaut, which offers commentaries, introductions and other support texts consistent with the reality and values of Reform Judaism and contemporary life. When published, in 2017, this book will be a turning point in the comprehension and study of our most sacred text. The translation of these texts is a community project and requires a committed team of professionals and volunteers, but most of all, the contribution of everyone. To contribute, please contact: chumash@wupj-latnamerica.org.



 Kings, queens and much more at the Purim celebrations
See the pictures from the Purim festivities at the congregations affiliated to the WUPJ Latin America.

ARI





CIP





CIM





ACIB





SIC





Fundación Judaica





AIC





Adat Israel





Sibra





Valparaiso





 Jewish knowledge for women
The group Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) has been gaining strength in the communities in Latin America. The region will be the only one to send two participants to a meeting of women leaders in London in mid-April.

The differential of the WRJ groups is the debate and reflections on topics related to Judaism and the contemporary world. "The main idea is to promote knowledge, contrary to other women's groups that focus on recreational or charitable activities", explains Ruth Bohm.

Ruth is one of the organizers of the Shirat Miriam group at the CIP, which will have its three-year anniversary in October and began when the institution affiliated itself with the WRJ. The group meets once a month, on Fridays, and has already counted on the participation of rabbis, writers, artists and leaders from other religions. Also on Fridays, the group holds the CaféVeUgá, a get together with discussions and snacks to welcome those who arrive for the Kabalat Shabbat at the CIP.

Ruth says that the next project to be put into practice is a Bat Mitzvah preparation course for adult women, which lasts one years and culminates with an aliyah to the Torah at the Wailing Wall in Israel.

The activist has also contacted people in Argentina, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte to form other women's groups.

Besides the participation of Ruth, the meeting of the WRJ in London will also have the presence of Ida Katz, representative of the Centro Israelita de Pernambuco, in Recife.


 Mazel Tov
Joyce Copstein and Rabbi Uri Lam got married on March 27th, at the Congregação Israelita Mineira. Friends from São Paulo and Salvador, where Uri worked, were present at the ceremony and lively party. Soloists Carla Knijnik and Marcelo Goldstein Spritzer and the spiritual leader Guershon Kwasniewski, from the SIBRA, in Porto Alegre, were responsible for conducting the religious ceremony.



 Q&A about Pessach
Passover Questions for the Whole Family (reformjudaism.org)

Our tradition teaches us that the Passover Seder is meant to be a learning experience for children of all ages, from 1 - 100. Our questions are more important that the answers. As you prepare to sit around the Seder table, we'd like to offer you some additional questions to help connect the past, present, and future of our Passover traditions. Focusing on the symbols of Passover, we hope this resource helps highlight our traditions in a way that links to where we are today and will lead to asking even more questions.

What are our plagues?
We read in the Haggadah that God sent 10 plagues upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians to convince them to let the Israelites go. What are our contemporary Plagues that are reminding us to cherish our freedom and make sure more people are free?

What enslaves you?
Each year at the Passover Seder we read that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. One of the central purposes of the Seder is to remember what it means to be enslaved. What enslaves you today?

What is your matzah?
The Israelites had to pack to leave Egypt at a moments notice without time to bake bread and let it rise. What is the most essential to you today – what would you be taking with you?

Why?
In this day and age, living in a world of seemingly endless choices, what are your reasons for celebrating Passover in a world of choice?


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