Issue # 59 - May 2012 / Iyar - Sivan 5772

 4th Conference of the Jewish communities in Latin America

Important Attendants Confirmed!

Internationally recognized exponents of world Jewry have confirmed their participation in the meeting
that will be held from 8 to August 12, 2012, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

More than 40 renowned speakers from various countries of Latin America, Europe, the USA and Israel, with extensive experience in Jewish communities in their regions, will embellish the event. They'll be together to international guests, as the President of the WUPJ, Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs; the Vice Chairman of the WZO - World Zionist Organization Executive, Dr. David Breakstone; the Vice President for academic affairs at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem (HUC-JIR), Rabbi Michael Marmur; and the Director of Education of the International Education Center, Anita Saltz International Education Center, from WUPJ in Israel, professor Paul Liptz.

Rabbi Stephen
Lewis Fuchs

President of the
World Union for Progressive Judaism

Dr. David

Vice Chairman of the WZO - World Zionist Organization Executive

Rabbi Michael

Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Jerusalem

Paul Liptz

Director of Education - Anita Saltz International Education Center /
WUPJ, Jerusalem

Buenos Aires 2012

"The New Face of Judaism in Latin America"

August 08 to 12, 2012 / Buenos Aires - Argentina
Registrations open!!!

Conference registration fee per person:
(no hotel included)

To May 31st:

• USD 450 Adult
• USD 225 Young adult (to 30 years old)

" From June 1st to July 31st:

• USD 500 Adult
• USD 250 Young adult (to 30 years old)

1. Pre-Conference Tour (optional):
August 6 to 8 Buenos Aires & Jewish
Colonies of Entre Ríos

2. Kallah rabínica : August 8 and 9 Study
meeting for rabbis and religious leaders

3. Conference: August 9 to 12 Intensive
program, with the presence of international
speakers and progressive Jewish communities
in the region

4. Post-Conference Tour (optional):
August 12 to 15 Foz do Iguaçu and Rio de Janeiro

For registration:     More information:

 WUPJ-LA re-elects board and creates working committees

The board of directors of the WUPJ-LA was re-elected
for the biennium 2011-2013 with the mission of creating bridges between the communities through the promotion of programs that add Progressive Judaism content.

One of the main challenges of the group is to raise
funds for the financial support of the WUPJ-LA, which already has the support of the WUPJ International and of the Yad B'yad Task Force.

To help the board of directors, working committees
were created on different fronts with representatives from the affiliated communities.

Board Of Directors

• President - Miriam Vasserman
• Vice President - Raul Cesar Gottlieb
• Treasurer - Flávio Levi Moreira
• Executive Secretary - Berta Zylberstajn


• Communications - Sergio Caraver (Sibra- Porto Alegre-BR) and Celia Morgunovsky Gomes (Sociedade Valparaíso-Chile)

• Events and Programming - Dora Lucia Brenner (CIP/São Paulo-BR) and Victor Grimblatt (Comunidad Cultural y Religiosa Ruaj Ami/Santiago-Chile)

• Finances - Flavio Levi Moreira (CIP/São Paulo-BR) and Mario Ruschin (Fundación Judaica-AR)

• Religion - Carlos Malamut (CIM/Belo Horizonte-BR) and Raul Gottlieb (ARI/Rio de Janeiro-BR)

• Relations with Affiliated- Teresa Roth (ARI/Rio de Janeiro-BR) and Ricardo José Rotholtz (Centro de Espiritualidad Judía Mishkan- Buenos Aires-AR)

 The celebration of freedom and of different generations

The congregations affiliated to the WUPJ
celebrated Pesah in a very special way.

In Argentina

The celebration of Pesah uniting different generations was the highlight at the temples of the Fundación Judaica and at the Arlene Fern Community School.

At the Arlene Fern Community School the children ages 4 and their parents shared what they learned about the Holiday, its symbols and traditions. The 7th grade students, on the other hand, participated in a joint activity with their grandparents, in a moment of reflection and preparation for the days of Pesah, speaking about different traditions and customs of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. The younger students, from the 1st grade, literally got their hands dirty so as to learn the necessary steps to make the matzo.

In the recently inaugurated hall of the Gran Templo de Paso temple, the Pesah Seder was the first large event held and received close to 800 people. The celebration was organized in conjunction with the Fundación Tzedaka and counted on the participation of the Congregación Israelita de la República Argentina and the Fundación Judaica. The blessings conducted by the Admor of Malta together with the host, Rabbi Iosi Baumgarten and the Rabbis Sergio Bergman and Damián Karo, went into the dawn.

At the Templo Libertad temple, the young people organized a Seder where they had the opportunity of putting into practice the knowledge acquired in their classes, from the preparation of the kitchen - making it kosher for Pesah - to the celebration of the dinner, which was conducted by the Rabbis Simón Moguilevsky and Damián Karo.

At the Comunidad NCI-Emanu El community, also in Argentina, the second night of Pesah was celebrated with a dinner, narrative and songs from the Haggadah. Under the command of the Rabbi Ale Avruj, the participants - including children - made various interpretations of the texts read during the Seder, trying to answer "Why is this night different from the rest?"

Each of the communities of the AIP - Asociación Israelita de los Pampas, celebrated Pesah intensely bringing their members together.

Mariano del Prado, shaliah tzibur of the AIP, directed the Seder at the Comunidad Judía de Puerto Madryn.
Close to 35 people came together for the Seder. The community is growing as new families are joining the activities being developed.

For the first time after various years, the Comunidad Judía de Villa Ángela - in the Province of El Chaco, got together to celebrate Pesah. The Seder was a success with good attendance.

Pesah at the Asociación Israelita de Paraná had a special motive. This year, when they celebrate the 100 years of life of the Asociación Israelita de Paraná, the idea was to celebrate Pesah at the Hebraica School so that the whole community could participate together with the children since they believe in the importance of transmitting the values of our Judaism through experience, not only through theory; practice and action are very important.

Various activities were conducted with the children, alluding to the Seder, including songs pertinent to Pesah and referring to freedom, oriented by the Shaliah Roi Melamed and Rabbi Sebastián Vainstein.

That night they remembered the brothers murdered in the terrorist attacks on the Israeli Embassy and the AMIA headquarters with a poem by Iehuda Amichai. Without a doubt, those present experienced a different Pesah.

Shaliah Roi Melamed and Rabbi Sebastián Vainstein continued their trip to share Pesah and were also present at the Comunidad Judía de Colonia Avigdor- Entre Ríos community as part of the "Planting Zionism" Program of the Department of Activities for the Diaspora of the WZO (World Zionist Organization).

The Jewish community of the Avigdor Colony has close to 60 people among children and adults, having been at the beginning a very important Jewish Center in the region. That night we were close to 30 people around the table and what was most gratifying was that we could count on families from the Federal and La Paz; in both these locations there are no Jewish communities and, despite the distance, they came to share Pesah with the community.

Like in San Salvador, we conducted a not so traditional Pesah Seder, probably not even similar to what the people were accustomed to celebrating; the idea was to mix traditional texts from the Haggadah with more modern texts to understand that the exodus from Egypt was not an event that occurred thousands of years ago to our ancestors, but, unfortunately, throughout our history, has been repeated through various Pesah's up until our times. Those present enjoyed the evening and it was a different and exciting Pesah experience for all.

Almost at the end of Pesah, at the end of the Kabbalat Shabbat, we had a dinner at the Comunidade de Avellaneda. Since the community's rabbi, Dr. Fabian Zaidemberg, was justifiably absent, the religious service was conducted by Mario Szames. Since the number of people present (60) was larger than the public that generally attends the weekly services, we used the large shil, which is exclusively reserved for the High Holidays or for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs.

After the religious service, we moved to the dining room where a festive dinner was served, followed by traditional Pesah songs and ended with the raffling of a Haggadah among those present.

In Brasil

At the ARI-RJ, the Community Seder also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the institution. "In these 70 years many Seders have been conducted, so we tried to think of how to maintain the ancestral spirit and we opted for innovating with technology and new resources to experience the narrative", stated Rabbi Dario Bialer. He was referring to the large screen used to project explanations about Pesah and the lyrics of the songs that were sung by the Chazanim André Nudelman and Oren Boljover, accompanied by Regina Lacerda on the keyboard.


The CIP - Congregação Israelita Paulista held its traditional community Seder on the first night of Pesah with approximately 180 people and an expressive number of children. The night was filled with participation, music, questions and answers and good food. The chazzan Avi, the maestro Pipo and the clarinet player Alexandre Travassas added shine to the dinner.

The community Seder at the SIC - Sociedade Israelita do Ceará brought together 70 members of the Jewish community to celebrate Pesah, uniting the families to tell the story of the Haggadah, celebrating freedom.
The highlight of the night was the active participation of the children in the Magid and in the search for the
Afikoman, brightening the festivity. Various volunteers participated in the organization, making this evening
an intense community experience.


Promoted by the SIBRA - Sociedade Israelita Brasileira de Cultura e Beneficência of Porto Alegre, the
religious leader Guershon Kwasniewski led the traditional Pesah Seder, filling up the hall in this activity that
has been a tradition for 15 years.

In Santos, on the coast of São Paulo, close to 90 people, members of the CCIB - Centro Cultural Israelita
de Santos
and who attend the Beit Jacob and Beit Sion synagogues celebrated the Pesah Seder which was highlighted by the presentation of the CCIB choir and the ARISA choir, from Santo André, conducted by Márcio Besen, maestro of both choirs.

In Chile

The communities celebrated Pesah with festive Seders in the congregations:
Ruaj Ami held the second Pesah Seder with approximately 150 people

The Comunidad Max Nordau, in Valparaíso, brought together in its hall, close to 50 people just like the Congregación Yakar in Santiago also did.


 New Sefer Torah in Porto Alegre

The Sibra (Sociedade Israelita Brasileira de Cultura e Beneficência), in Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, received a new Sefer Torah in April which was donated by the couple Nilma and David Igdaloff.

Igdaloff is president of the Asociación Israelita de las Pampas (AIP), institution that brings together small Jewish communities in Argentina. The official ceremony to mark the delivery of the new Sefer Torah will be held soon.

 Connections 2013 has set the date

The 36th Biannual Conference of the WUPJ International - Connections 2013 will be held on May 1st to the 5th, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. The convention will be preceded by the seminar of the Executive Committee of the WUPJ and the meeting of the International Board of the organization on April 28th to the 30th.

The theme of the conference will be "Being the difference", a unique opportunity for the participants to reflect on everyone's actions and the difference we can all make in our communities and worldwide.

At the last meeting, Connections 2011, held in San Francisco, California (USA), the delegation from Latin America had 31 participants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

The website with details on the Connections 2013 will be launched soon. If you want to know what the conferences of the World Union are or want to remember Connections 2011, please access the links to see the video-highlights or the picture photo gallery.

 Bergman Seminar - Incentive for Jewish education

"The Bergman Seminar for Progressive Jewish Educators", promoted by the "The Anita Saltz International Education Center", will be held this year from July 5th to the 15th at the Beit Shmuel-Mercaz Shimshon, worldwide headquarters of the WUPJ in Jerusalem, Israel.

The seminar, which was created to help deal with the challenges that the communities of Progressive Jewish Educators face today and supply them with the necessary tools to speak to the new generations, had four representatives from the region last time.

The program is innovative and incorporates elements such as spirituality, culture and liturgy, the Hebrew language, history and memory, politics, study of texts, Jewish values and pedagogical skills.

The opportunity to visit various locations in Israel also allows for a deep study of the vital issues for Jewish education.

"The Bergman Seminar for Progressive Jewish Educators" is sponsored by the Bergman brothers: Stanley, a long time supporter of the Progressive Judaism causes and Leslie, president of the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ). For more information visit the website or contact Rabbi Steve Burnstein.

There are only a few last available spots in this exciting and exclusive program. If you are a Jewish educator, there is no better place to develop your knowledge, aptitudes and Jewish connections.

World Union for Progressive Judaism - Latin America