Issue # 55 - December 2011 / KislÍv - TevÍt 5772

 Activity Report

The WUPJ-LA closes 2011 presenting to its affiliated entities, collaborators and the international Jewish
community with a report of activities conducted during the year. The text includes a detailed list of the
actions that took place with the objective of marking and expanding the presence of the WUPJ in Latin
America. This was all achieved thanks to the effort and dedication of professionals, lay leaders and
volunteers and thanks to the support of sponsors and of the Yad B'Yad Task Force.

To see the complete report, click here.

 Save the date - New paths for Judaism in Latin America

The WUPJ will hold the 4th Conference of the
Jewish Communities in Latin America in Buenos Aires, Argentina from August 8th to the 12th, 2012. The main objective of the meeting is the integration of different groups and the discussion of themes important to contemporary Judaism such as:

Fundamentals of Reform
Present politics in South America
Hi-tech industry in Israel
Jews and Arabs yesterday and today
Religious pluralism in Israel
Music in the synagogue

The conference will bring together rabbis,
community leaders, Chazanim, volunteers, educators
and young people from various countries in Latin America, as well as representatives from Israel,
Europe and the United States.

As a pre-conference activity, there will be a Rabbinical Kallah on August 8th and 9th for rabbis and religious leaders present at the conference.

The meeting will be held at the Marriot Hotel which
is located in a property that was inaugurated in 1909
and is considered the first luxury hotel in Argentina
in downtown Buenos Aires, with a view of the
historical Plaza San Martin.

 Devarim magazine launches new issue

The ARI-RJ (Israeli Religious Association) launched issue number 16 of the Devarim magazine in December. The publication has texts from authors from all over the world with the objective of presenting to Jews and non Jews the thoughts, wishes and concerns of the inclusive, egalitarian, integrated, democratic, modern and Zionist Brazilian religious Jewish community.

Among the subjects approached in this issue are the drama of the refugees of the Sudan in Israel; the Israeli movie industry; the literature of Yoram Kaniuk; and the story of a young boy from the Heliopolis slum in S„o Paulo who studied music at the University of Tel Aviv.

The content of the Devarim magazine is available in Portuguese here. Whoever is interested in receiving the printed version must send an email with their full name and address to

Distribution is free and anyone who wishes to help maintain the project can make a donation of any amount making that clear by email as well.

 Kabbalat Shabbat in Santos

The Reach Program, an initiative of the WUPJ-LA,
with the support of the FISESP (Israeli Federation
of the State of S„o Paulo) and the CONIB (Israeli Confederation of Brazil) ended 2011 with the
celebration of a Kabbalat Shabbat in Santos together
with the Beit Jacob and Beit Sion synagogues.

The religious service was attended by close to 60 people and was conducted by the chazzan David Leo Eisencraft, accompanied by the musicians Marcello Frenkiel and Claudio Souza. Also participating in the ceremony were the president of the Beit Jacob synagogue, Jaques Zonis and the president of the Beit Sion synagogue, Carlos Homsi. The WUPJ-Latin America was represented by its executive secretary, Berta Zylberstajn, and the FISESP by its executive assistant Marcelo W. Secemski.

(L-R) Jaques Zonis, Marcelo Secemski, Marcello Frenkiel, Berta Zylberstajn, David Leo Eisencraft, Claudio Souza.

 URJ changes leadership in great style

The Rabbi Eric Yoffie ended a 16 year cycle as head of the Union for Reform Judaism handing over the position to the new president of the institution, Rabbi Rick Jacobs who will take office in January 2012. The change of command occurred during a biannual conference of the URJ held on December 14th to the 18th in a hotel on the outskirts of Washington with the presence of almost 6,000 people, making the occasion the largest meeting
in the history of the institution.

Rabino Rick Jacobs

Rabino Eric Yoffie

Besides the leaders of the Jewish community, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, and the Minister of Defense of Israel, Ehud Barak, also spoke at the conference. Among the debates conducted by the religious leaders, the difficulty of attracting the attention of young people was presented as one of the biggest challenges of the next few years.

 Celebration of Hanukkah

The Feast of Lights was celebrated in several communities, with the lighting of candles of hanukkiah. The ceremonies were an opportunity to meet people who, in an atmosphere of friendship, sang together, danced and celebrated the remembrance of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Check out the photos:


World Union for Progressive Judaism - Latin America