|Issue # 61 – August 2012 / Av - Elul 5772|
|Special issue - Buenos Aires 2012|
The debate about the future and the dilemmas that are a part of the everyday life of Progressive Judaism in contemporary society was the main topic of the 4th Conference of the Jewish Communities in Latin America, which brought together, on August 8th to the 12th, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, close to 300 representatives of various entities from the host country and also from Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States and Israel.
Authorities attended the event
The conference had over 40 lecturers in 15 panels and four plenary sessions that discussed religious studies as well as topics such as the relationship of young people with Israel; the anti-Israel movements; the equilibrium between tradition and modernity; innovation in the religious services within the synagogue; the vision of Avraham Yeoshua Heschel; Zionism and the social and political panorama in Israel.
Click to watch the conference best moments: Link.
Following the Torah scroll donation ceremony, some pronouncements were made by Michael Grabiner WUPJ world chair, Miriam Vasserman, regional President and Ricardo Rotholtz, president of the organizing committee.
Rabbi Joel Oseran, Vice President of international development of the WUPJ and Raul C. Gottlieb, Vice President of the WUPJ Latin America also addressed welcome messages.
The opening of the conference was attended by authorities such as the Subsecretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism of Buenos Aires, Claudio Avruj representing the local government; the Israeli ambassador in Argentina, Daniel Gazit; the president of the DAIA (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas) umbrella institution of the Jewish community, Aldo Donzis.
Essential support of various entities
The organizers of the conference considered it essential to have the support and presence of representatives of various entities of the Jewish community in Argentina and Latin America such as AMIA, DAIA, OSA, Chazon Arteinu, Avoda, B'nei Brith, CAMI, CJL – Latin American Jewish Congress, CONIB/Brazil, FISESP/Brazil and UJCL – Union of Jewish Congregations of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The religious services held during the conference were moments filled with great emotions for the participants where they were all able to perceive their common roots and traditions. The religious services also reinforced the feeling of fraternization, integration and exchange among the various institutions and their representatives.
On Saturday, the Shabbat service was conducted by Rabbi Gabriel Mazer, representing Rabbi Ruben Nisenbom, honored at the occasion, at the Mishkan Center of Jewish Spirituality.
At the conference closing, Rabbi Michael Marmur conducted an excellent presentation with the topic "God in search of man". Marmur is Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, and is responsible for the New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Jerusalem campuses. At the lecture, he spoke about the ideas and teachings of the rabbi and philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel, which combine a profound respect and appreciation for the Jewish tradition with an understanding of the pressures and challenges that the modern Jewish existence faces.
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