Issue # 73 - September 2013 / Tishrei 5774

 5774 – A new cycle
The High Holy Days, Sucot and Simchat Torah had special celebrations in the communities affiliated to the WUPJ in Latin America.

In Porto Alegre, the SIBRA once more transmitted the religious services through the internet, totaling over 1000 hours of live feed on the exclusive channel The institution once again reinforces that it will hold live transmissions during Kabalat Shabbat throughout the whole year, always on Fridays at 7:00 pm Brasilia standard time.

High Holidays – SIBRA

Simchat Torá at SIBRA

In Argentina, over three thousand people were at the Fundación Judaica for the end of Yom Kippur, at the Community in Parque Norte in Buenos Aires.

Fundación Judaica - Iom Kipur

The communities of the AIP – Asociación Israelita de las Pampas – also promoted special moments for everyone. At the Asociación Israelita de Paraná, despite the intense cold, many people were able to feel the spiritual warmth during the religious services of Yom Kippur. At the Comunidad de Coronel Suárez, the synagogue was packed during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, which were written about in the local media.

In the Centre of Jewish Spirituality Mishkan 5774 high holidays services were performed by Rabbi Reuben Nisenbom with the presence of a large audience and the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Argentina Dorit Shavit and other authorities.

At the Asociación Judía Reformista de Guatemala, Adat Israel, Rabbis Elyse Goldstein and Leah Kroll conducted the religious services during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The congregation also received new siddurim, donated by Judith and Ilene Weinreb, who visited Guatemala on a program conducted by the Fair Trade Judaica entity.

Rabbi Leah Kroll

New Siddur
 Holocaust is the topic of an exhibition in Fortaleza
The "From the Holocaust to Liberation" exhibit is open for visitation until October 6th at the Espaço Multiuso do Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura, in Fortaleza, state of Ceará, with 160 pictures and documents. The exhibit is an initiative of the Sociedade Israelita do Ceará (SIC) and its opening was attended by the President of the Confederação Israelita Brasileira, Claudio Lottenberg.

On the occasion, Lottenberg spoke about the duty to transmit information about the Holocaust to the new generations and thanked Marcus Strozberg, curator of the exhibit and president of the SIC.

The opening, which was attended by Aleksander Laks, Holocaust survivor, had great repercussion, and was also attended by community leaders and local political authority figures.

Claudio Lottenberg (left) and Marcus Strozberg, at the opening of the exhibition in Fortaleza. Photo: Disclosure.

Aleksander Laks talks about his experience as a Holocaust survivor / Young people visit the exhibition on the day of its inauguration.
Photos: Marina Cavalcante.

 Religious Diversity in Rio Grande do Sul
Rabbi Guershon Kwasniewski, from the SIBRA - Sociedade Israelita de Cultura e Beneficência of Porto Alegre, became a member of the State Committee for Religious Diversity of the State of Rio Grande do Sul.
Coordinated by the Department of Justice and Human Rights, the committee is composed also by Evangelicals, Catholics, Umbanda followers, Buddhists, Atheists, religious researchers and government representatives.

Rio Grande do Sul is the first Brazilian state to have a Committee for Religious Diversity. The agency was instituted by Governor Tarso Genro and its objective is to promote the right to religious diversity, to combat intolerance and protect against violations of human rights for religious motives.

Among the objectives of the SIBRA is the fight against any type of prejudice towards Judaism. In the municipal sphere, the entity is already a member of the Group for Inter-Religious Dialogue of Porto Alegre.

The Secretary of Justice and human rights, Fabiano Pereira (left), greets the Rabbi Guershon Kwasniewski. Photo: Disclosure.
 In Memoriam

Mr. Franja (left) and David Leo Eisencraft

On the eve of the High Holy Days, the Sociedade Israelita de Ribeirão Preto (SIRP) received the sad news of the passing of Franja Hamurger, Itschak ben Shmuel, at the age of 99.

For many years he was the chazzan of the SIRP and participated in community activities such as the Lashir Benefesh 5 Seminar, in 2011 in São Paulo, where he was honored for being an example of great dedication to the chazzanut and the Jewish community.

 Largest Jewish gathering in North America is open for registration
Registration for the 72nd North American Biennial, largest Jewish gathering in North America, organized by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), is now open. The event will take place on December 11th to the 15th in San Diego (USA) and will bring together close to five thousand leaders from the Jewish community, including lay and professional leaders and rabbis. For the first time, the gathering is open to participants from congregations not affiliated to the URJ, but who believe in Jewish Pluralism, so that they can share experiences, learn more about the religion and discuss solutions for the challenges of the future of Jewish life in contemporary society. More information is available on the website:


  Beutel Seminar 2014
February 13 – 23, 2014

"Because Jewish Learning is the Key Component of Jewish Leadership"

"The Anita Saltz International Education Center", located at the foot of the walls of Jerusalem, is a spectacular, innovative initiative of the WUPJ, combining Jewish studies with unique and meaningful experiences in Israel". The Beutel seminar is a ten day program in Israel, where you will have the opportunity to combine the study of ancient texts of Jewish tradition with discussions on spiritual, religious and political newsmakers. The seminar is dedicated to preparing leaders within the context of Progressive Judaism. Participant must be registered and recommended by the community to which he/she belongs and keep current and future commitment with it. The language of the seminar is English.

More information and Registration on the website: The Beutel Seminar for Progressive Jewish Leadership

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World Union for Progressive Judaism - Latin America