Issue # 111 - February 2017 - Shevat 5777.
 #WeRemember - International Day in Memory of the Holocaust Victims

Minister Lottenberg Fernando José Serra and Ricardo Berkiensztat

Governor Geraldo Alckmin, President Michel Temer, and President of Conib Fernando Lottenberg

In memory of the victims of the Holocaust in the Adat Israel Congregation in Guatemala

Jack Terpins, Rabbi Michel Schlesinger, Sergio Kulikovsky, Ricardo Berkiensztat and Bruno Laskowskypg
Several institutions affiliated with WUPJ LA participated in the campaign launched by the World Jewish Congress on the occasion of the International Day in Memory of the Holocaust Victims on January 27. The proposal was for people to post photos on social networks with the #WeRemember hashtag.

Also ceremonies were held in memory of the victims of Nazism during World War II.

The Congregação Israelita Paulista (CIP), hosted an event with the theme "Holocaust and Intolerance in the World", organized by the Confederação Israelita do Brasil (Conib) and the Federação Isrealita do Estado de São Paulo (Fisesp), with the support of several institutions.

Present in the event President Michel Temer, Foreign Minister José Serra, Governor Geraldo Alckmin and Mayor João Doria

"To remember the Holocaust, to remember its pain and all its anguish, is to prepare the future," Temer said. The president greeted the survivors of Nazi barbarism attending the event, saying that the suffering to which they were subjected should serve as a lesson so the Holocaust will be permanently remembered. "If it is a day, a month, years or centuries, we must always remember. It is a lesson for the future and for the present."

In Rio de Janeiro, the Associação Religiosa Israelita (ARI-RJ)(ARI-RJ) organized a series of lectures with Professor Silvia Rosa Nossek Lerner, author of "Freedom to choose how to die: armed resistance of Jews in the Holocaust." The topics covered were: "How could it happen?"; "New winds blow in Germany"; And "The end and a new beginning."

In Santa Catarina, Associação Israelita Catarinense(AIC) the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust had a special Cabalat Shabbat, with the participation of Professor Pietro Nardella-Dellova, speaking on "Jewish Contributions to Human Rights" at the Israelite Association of Santa Catarina (AIC).

The Israeli Embassy in Brasilia will organize an event in conjunction with the Israelite Cultural Association of Brasilia (Acib) on March 15 in the Legislative Chamber of the Federal District.

João Doria and Rabbi Michel Schlesinger

Tomas Venetianer survivor with Rabbi Michel Schlesinger

Exhibition Overview

General Overview
  The calendar of the second year of the Mikrá is defined
The Mikrá Institute will start the activities of 2017 on March 20, in Buenos Aires, with more than fifteen options of different classes. The project, inaugurated in 2016 by Fundación Judaica and WUPJ-LA, has as it main focus the formation of community leaders, volunteers and professionals.

More information about the courses offered is available here.
 Israeli technology spread in Chile
Comunidad Israelita de Concepción, Chile, created the "Nation Start-Up" project, with the purpose of spreading technological and scientific advances developed in Israel, especially among university students.

In January, the congregation was visited by Ernesto Jselevich, doctor of chemistry and professor at the Weizmann Institute, who participated in the "Congress of the Future" at the Faculty of Engineering of the Universiad del Bio, addressing nanotechnology discoveries by talking "From the Stone Age to the Nano Age".
 Diversity in Argentina and Israel
A working group that seeks to achive inclusive policies of the LGBT community in Argentina and Israel held its first meeting in late 2016 at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. In addition to Ambassador Ilan Sztulman, the meeting was attended by Gustavo Michanie and Romina Charur, respectively chairman and general secretary of the JAG institution (Jewish Argentine Gays); And Esteban Paulón, Undersecretary of Sexual Diversity of the Province of Santa Fe.
 Ecumenical meeting in Recife
Ida Katz and Jáder Tachlitsky, from the Israelite Center of Pernambuco in Recife, represented the Jewish community at the ecumenical meeting held on the occasion of the relic of St. Francis of Assisi on the 11th of January.

The faithful began a pilgrimage with the image in September 2015 by various Brazilian cities until 2021, the year in which the 800th anniversary of the Secular Franciscan Order will be celebrated.

At the meeting in Recife, representatives of other religions participated, such as Christian, Anglican, Syriac Catholics, Muslim, Umbanda, Candomblé and Bahai. The focus of the celebration was the pressing need for peace and religious tolerance.

 Confirmed Speakers for Connections 2017

Registrations are open for the WUPJ International biennial conference, which this year will be held in May 16-20 in Jerusalem, Israel. Previous programming includes lectures and visits to important sites of Jewish history in Israel. More details are available here.


On the next February 11/15 of Shevat, we celebrate the "New Year of the Trees - Tu B'Shvat.
Check out the unpublished article written by the environmentalist Fabio Feldmann at the invitation of WUPJ LA

The reflection of Tu Bishvat

As we know, one of the most important issues on the contemporary agenda is the global warming. Although this provokes many controversies, especially with the presidency of Donald Trump, the scientific knowledge clearly demonstrates that our generation has a unique responsibility. In the coming decades, we will have to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases radically, because if we do not do so, we will take the risk to have a real climate hecatomb.

In 2015, an agreement was signed in Paris involving all countries of the world, with the firm purpose of ensuring that the average temperature of the planet does not increase more than 2 ° C by the end of the century. If this happens, the prognoses are dramatic, as we have said. In Brazil, natural disasters has increasingly happened in recent years, prolonged droughts in the Northeast and a extreme water crisis in São Paulo.

The challenges are immense, ranging from replacing fossil fuels with clean energies, reducing deforestation, especially in countries like Brazil and Indonesia, and, above all, a deep reflection on contemporary lifestyle. This brings us to review values and a deep search in our roots. Judaism offers a great repertoire for us to carry out these important tasks.

Tu Bishvat represents a great opportunity: it is the anniversary of the trees in Israel. In schools, there is planting by the students and discussions about local, national and planetary environmental problems. It is registered in Tu Bishvat's history that, until 1600, the date was of minor importance. Kabbalists began to develop a special interest in this ceremony, facing it as an opportunity to repair the world - tikkun olam. For them, in reverencing trees, people have the opportunity to improve their spiritual life.

While Judaism already celebrated this date long ago, in the contemporary world the Nacional Tree Day was conceived in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century and adopted in Brazil in 1965.

Finally, it is worth transcribing what the writer Herman Hesse said: "For me, the trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I reverence them when they live in tribes and families, in the forests and woods. And I revere them even more when they are alone. They are like lonely people. Not as hermits, who were lost by some weakness, but as great solitary men, as Beethoven and Nietzsche. In its highest branches, the world whispers. Its roots rest in infinity. But they do not get lost there. They struggle with the full force of their lives for one thing: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is more sacred, nothing is more exemplary than a tree, beautiful and strong."