Issue # 49 - June 2011 / Tamuz of 5771

 Award for project in Latin America and donations of torot

Jerry Tanenbaum, chair of WUPJ's Yad B'Yad Task Force group, responsible for supporting actions in Latin America since 2002, was awarded May 19th. with the Sherut L'am prize, offered by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Cincinnati (USA).

The award recognizes the services provided by the honored person to the institution that created the award, or to the Jewish people. The Sherut L'am has already been awarded to singer Debbie Friedman (z "l) and Ilene and Stanley Gold.

Tanenbaum was chosen precisely because of his work as head of Yad B'Yad Task Force and his history in the WUPJ, where he participates in various committees since 1988. Another project having its strong involvement is the Shomrei Torah, created with the goal to request congregations that possess many Torot to make a donation to a congregation that is not in a position to acquire their own Torah.

The "Shomrei Torah program is a wonderful service that he has done to our people," said Rabbi David Ellenson, President of HUC-JIR.

Long-time World Union leader Jerry Tanenbaum (right), with representatives from Congregation Shir Hadash of Los Gatos, California, hands over the Torah destined for an Israeli Progressive congregation to Israel movement chair Yaron Shavit (front, left) and executive director Rabbi Gilad Kariv (rear, partially hidden).

 The World Zionist Organization (WZO) Meeting in Rio

The World Zionist Organization held in April in Rio de Janeiro a seminar which brought together representatives of Zionist Federations and young activists from Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The goal, in addition to the usual exchange of information and experiences, was to present the new structure of the Zionist Activities Department for

(L-R) Gerardo Stuczynski (President of COSLA), Ofer Laufman (Pres. Dpt. For WZO in the diaspora), Andy Faur (WZO Director for Ibero America), Sergio Rosenboim (WZO Director in Brazil ), Sarita Schaffel (President FIERJ), Osias Wurman (Honorary Israeli Consul in RJ

Youth participants at the Seminar

the Diaspora, approved during the last Zionist Congress, the main projects and its new leaders - Gusti Yehoshua Braverman and Ofer Laufmam (read more on the note "ARI-RJ mobilizes Carioca community").

Issues like the participation of youth in community life, the current situation of conflicts in the Middle East, foreign policy of Israel and the Jewish integration into society as a whole, were also discussed.

Also present were the Honorary Consul of Israel in Rio de Janeiro, Osias Wurman, the President of the Israeli Federation of Rio de Janeiro, Sarita Schaffel, who presented a summary of Jewish life in Brazil and the new Director for Brazil of the WZO, Sergio Rosenboim. The WUPJ-LA was represented by peil Eduardo Catap, who participated in the seminar.

ARI-RJ mobilizes Carioca community

(L-R) Dr. Daniel Klabin, whose family donated the Torah, Evelyn Milsztajn, President of ARI, Rabbi Sergio Margulies Guilherme Levy, former President of ARI, and one of the honorees in writing one of the last nine letters, the Israeli Rabbi Gustavo Surazski, especially invited for the filling of latest letters and Rabbi Dario Bialer

The Religious Association of Rio de Janeiro (ARI-RJ) received a new Sefer Torah donated in April by the Klabin family. The ceremony was led by Rabbis Sergio Margulies and Dario Bialer, with the participation of Israeli Rabbi and sofer Gustavo Surazski. The party was attended by a massive presence ARI's members and several former Presidents, including the Dean, Dr. William Levy. ARI´s Chairman, Evelyn Milsztajn, spoke about the importance of this Sefer Torah, the first to be received by the institution after 40 years. It was a moment of great joy that demonstrates the vitality of the Congregation, especially a year before the celebration of the 70th anniversary of its foundation.


The psychoanalyst and professor at the Sorbonne Fabio Landa gave at ARI-RJ the lecture "the presence of Shoa nowadays: witnessing or the desperate and decided search for any friend".

(L-R) Lecturer Dr. Fabio Landa, Rabbi Sergio Margulies, from ARI and Danielle Calirman Joory, representing the Synagogue Cultural Committee

Gusti Yehoshua Braverman, Director of the Department for Zionist Activities for the Diaspora of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), and former Director General of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), and Ofer Laufman, the newly enthroned Director of the WZO, attended the Cabalat Shabbat in ARI-RJ. On the occasion Gusti made an inspired preaching at the invitation of Rabbi Sergio Margulies, bringing an important message from ARZENU and the WZO.

(L-R) Helio Koifman - Vice President of FIERJ, Ofer Laufman - WZO, Evelyn Milsztajn - President of ARI. Gusti Yehoshua Braverman - WZO, Rabbi Sergio Margulies - ARI, Cecilia Cohen - shlichá of Chazit, Nelson Steinberg - President of Chazit Mitkademet/ARZENU Brazil, Diane Steinberg - Director of Fierj for Religious interfaith dialogue

 Young Jewish Connections at the South of Brazil

The first Young Jewish Connections organized by Guershon Kwasniewski, spiritual leader from SIBRA-Porto Alegre, and Rabbi Pablo Berman, from CIP-Curitiba, took place on the weekend of June, 03 to 05 at the Plaza Itapema Resort, in Santa Catarina, with the participation of about 50 young adults ages 20 to 35 years old from Jewish communities in the South of Brazil.

After the official opening, on Friday night, a Cabalat Shabbat was celebrated under the starlight, in touch with the local nature.

On Saturday morning, all participants joined around a stunning hotel swimming pool complex and talked about the week parasha about Power and its consequences.

After the study, the participants had the privilege to listen an amazing speech about Judaism and Enterprising, ministered by Arthur Grynbaum, owner of an important Brazilian cosmetic and perfume industry - "O Boticário".

As part of the program, participants had the opportunity to listen to Gaby Glasman and Deby Grinberg, Jewish Agency Cultural Interchange shlichot who presented the various Israel study programs, and other projects directed to the young audience.

With free time in the afternoon, participants could enjoy the local beauty and the resort comfort, with pool, walking at the beach, surf, sauna, gymnastics and other hotel attractions.

First at night, journalist Renato Aizenman, coordinator of the "Hasbará" project "Israel na Web" delighted the audience with a nice presentation. After it, peil Eduardo Catap, WUPJ-LA representative talked about TaMaR Olami.

As the activities were concluded, participants went to the hotel nightclub to enjoy the night with live music, DJ and "capirinhas" competition.

On Sunday, concluding the meeting, there were giveaways and raffles of sidurim and T-shirts for the participants.

The event was a success and all participants are unanimous about the continuity of the project. A second edition will be planned soon.

Seminar brings together WUPJ educators in Israel

WUPJ representatives will participate in "The Bergman Seminar for Progressive Jewish Educators", in Israel, 14 to 24 July. The meeting combines classes, reading texts and visits to various places where the content of the courses can be experienced in practice.

The multi-subject program includes concepts related to culture, spirituality, language, history and memory, in addition to dealing with common issues and differences among Jewish communities in Israel and the Diaspora. The three core components of Jewish existence-- the Jewish people; the Torah and the State of Israel, will also be explored. Participants will also be encouraged to exchange experiences, keeping in touch even after the completion of the course; organized by "The Anita Saltz International Education Center", it expects representatives of institutions affiliated to the WUPJ in 42 countries. From Latin America will attend: Eva Romarowski, Professor of Jewish studies at the Community School, Arlene Fern Jewish Foundation, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Miriam Gerber, Coordinator of the Lafer School, Congregação Israelita Paulista (CIP),

WUPJ headquarters in Jerusalem

São Paulo, Brazil; Selma Rodrigues de Castilho, Coordinator of the educational programs at Israelite Religious Association of Rio de Janeiro (ARI-RJ); and Ruth Kraselnik, from Congregation Kol Shearith Israel, Panama.

 Outreach (Alcance) Program Scope
Communities receive the visit of Rabbi Clifford M. Kulwin

The WUPJ-LA, in partnership with the Brazil´s Israelite Confederation (Conib), received Rabbi Clifford M. Kulwin, who participated in activities with the Jewish communities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ceará and Brasília.

Kulwin is spiritual leader of Temple B'nai Abraham, in New Jersey since 1999. He has acted in several communities affiliated to the WUPJ worldwide, including ARI-RJ. His work has often been facilitated by the fact that he is fluent, besides English, in Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. The Rabbi also writes articles for the newspapers New Jersey Jewish News and Star-Ledger.

In São Paulo, among other activities, the Rabbi participated in a meeting with CIP´s leaders, where he addressed the subjects: "The spirit of belonging - how to attract and retain members"; "Relationship: activists x professionals - how to integrate the various areas to obtain a healthy and proactive relationship "; and "Commitment: the need for commitment and dedication of directors and coordinators". Still in São Paulo, Kulwin attended a Pessach Seder at the Jewish Culture Community Center (CCJ).

(L-R) Robin and Clifford Kulwin, José Frenkiel

In ARI-RJ, the schedule of the visit included his participation in a Kabalat Shabbat, and on Saturday the Rabbi made the study of the Torah during the Kiddush following the Shabbat morning service. He also participated in the recording of an interview for the program "Community on TV," at the Israelite Federation of Rio de Janeiro (Fierj).

The celebration of Passover also marked Kulwin´s visit to Fortaleza, where he participated in a community seder organized by the Israelite
Society of Ceará (SIC), with the presence of more than 100 people.

At the Israelite Cultural Association of Brasília (ACIB), the Rabbi knew the synagogue, the design of future installations of the brasiliense community, and the cemetery. He also had the opportunity to see other temples, such as the imposing mosque of the Brazilian capital. During the visit, Kulwin still agreed with ACIB´s representatives that it is necessary to hire a fixed Rabbi, so that the institution have conditions to attract more associates.
The AIC Pessach Seder

(L-R) Julia Guivant, president of AIC, Iete Arruda Salome and Guershon Kwasniewski, from SIBRA

The SIBRA-RS´s spiritual leader, Guershon Kwasniewski, on the initiative of both the WUPJ-LA and Israelite Confederation of Brazil (Conib), conducted the Community Pessach Seder at the Catarinense Israelite Association (AIC), in Hotel Jurerê Beach Village, in Florianópolis.

"Florianópolis is a community with a potential, and in need of assistance. I appreciate the receptiveness and I highlight the Organization of the event, which

allowed me to do the job with total freedom", said Kwasniewski, referring specifically to the President of the AIC, Julia S. Guivant, and its Managing Director, Iéte Arruda Salome.

The spiritual leader also became enthused with the participation of the public who followed the reading of the Hagada. "It was a wonderful moment when children represented each one of the plagues, with the help of the Hashomer´s madrichim . The Echad Mi Iodea was conducted by the community. I simply offered the microphone ".

Singing Echad Mi Iodea

Cabalat Shabat in Santos

The latest program activity of the Outreach Program was an animated Cabalat Shabbat, in early June, in the synagogue Bet Jacob, in Santos, São Paulo coastline, which has a community with approximately 150 people.

The religious service was conducted by Sheliach tzibur David Leo Eisencraft, accompanied by musician Marcelo Frenkiel. Present were the President of the synagogue Bet Jacob, Jaques Zonis; the President of the synagogue Beit Sion, Carlos Homsi; the President of the Israeli Cultural Center, Brancan Kives Ostronoff and the Vice President, Ricardo A. Schmitman. The WUPJL -LA was represented by its President, Miriam Vasserman, and the FISESP (Israeli Federation of the State of São Paulo), by the Executive Secretary Marcelo W. Secemski.


The Outreach Program scope, an initiative of the WUPJ-LA, with the important support of FISESP, has as main objective to support the smaller community centers, with the promotion of the development of Judaism, encouraging and facilitating the formation of progressive Jewish institutions, besides stimulating the study of Judaism and the recognition of its place in modern life.

(L-R) Jaques Zonis, David Leo Eisencraft, Marcello Frenkiel, Miriam Vasserman and Marcelo Secemski

 4th Conference of Jewish communities of Latin America - Save the date in the agenda!

Buenos Aires, Argentina, will be the venue of the fourth Latin America´s Conference of Jewish Communities, between August 8 and 12, 2012. The meeting will show how Latin American Jewry is increasingly stronger and more vibrant, repeating the success of previous meetings in São Paulo (2004), Punta del Este (2006) and Rio de Janeiro (2008). Save the Date


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World Union for Progressive Judaism - Latin America