Issue # 85 – December 2014 / Kislêv-Tevet, 5775.

 WUPJ-LA has a new Executive Management
Cheshvan (the Jewish month following the month of Tishrei in which we celebrate the High Holy Days, Sukkot and Simchat Torah) is the month in which there is no hag (festivity) and that is it is known as Mar-Cheshvan (bitter Cheshvan). Some years ago, some community professionals and volunteers declared themselves "in love" with this month since they can work continuously. Taking advantage of all of this extra time, the WUPJ Latin America worked hard to bring some news.

We would like to share with you that our dear executive director Sergio Napchan is leaving us to join the Conib (Confederação Israelita do Brasil) team in a new phase of his career. He will remain active and involved in the activities of the WUPJ, which is great! We wish him much success and our deepest thanks for all the work conducted until now.

Our new director who began working in November 2014, Karin Cukierman Zingerevitz lives in São Paulo with her family (Rabbi Rogério, Tali and Yoni). She has ample experience in the community in São Paulo and Latin America, as well as in the United States. Karin is an engineer and designer and has a Master's Degree in Public Management from USC and another in Jewish Non-Profit Management from the HUC-JIR in Los Angeles. Karin also studied at the Leatid – Promotion and in various Jewish seminars throughout the world.

Karin will continue the work of the WUPJ with the volunteers, professionals and all of the affiliated entities and their members, strengthening each organization and dedicating her work to expand and publicize the projects and programs offered by our organization.

Thus, she will be contacting each member entity so as to familiarize herself with the reality of each organization, understanding their needs and how the WUPJ can offer solutions and proposals for their projects and organizational demands, promoting partnerships and institutional growth.

Raul Gottlieb    Miriam Vasserman

 Renewed leadership in the Brazilian community
The Conib – Confederação Israelita do Brasil – important partner of the WUPJ Latin America in various projects, elected its new Board of Directors for the 2014-2017 term. Attorney Fernando Lottenberg from São Paulo is the new president.

The election of the new directors occurred during the 45th Annual Convention of the Conib held at the "A Hebraica" club in São Paulo with representatives from the Jewish communities in 14 Brazilian states, many of them from congregations with strong ties to the WUPJ.

The group discussed relevant topics, many of them converging with the premises of Progressive Judaism, such as improvement of formal and informal Jewish education, security, conversion processes, communication strategies for social media and community census.

 Special Bar and Bat Mitzvah Ceremony

Professor Mariano del Prado, from the Asociación Israelita de las Pampas (AIP), in Argentina is very proud of the results of the "Judaism with experience and meaning" course that culminated with a Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremony for 17 adult bnei mitzvah (pictures below) in the city of Rivera, Province of Buenos Aires.

As could not be otherwise, the occasion
was celebrated with a nice party that brought
together 170 guests from various regions of
Argentina that are part of the AIP.

 CIP evolving and always innovating
This year, besides the traditional Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, the families were invited to participate in an aliyah to the Torah
in the weeks prior to the ceremonies.

After much study of Hebrew, Chaguim, Tefilah, history, music and other subjects, the moment arrived for the young women to publicly confirm their commitment to tradition.

Many challenges were overcome and many more will appear. We hope that the learning acquired is only the beginning of the search for Judaism and for each of the girl's place in society as a Jewish woman.

We wish all of you and your families a life filled with happiness and conquests, health and lots of love! Mazel tov!

 Connections 2015 in Rio: registration is open!

The link The link for all those interested in registering to participate in the 37th WUPJ International Convention Connections 2015 from May 13 to 16 in Rio de Janeiro is up and running. With the theme "Simcha, Soul and Solidarity", the conference will include inspiring speakers, workshops and sessions for debating thought-provoking topics.

This is a unique opportunity for learning, together with moments for prayer, while strengthening the values and beliefs of Progressive Judaism with others who share our passion for helping the Jewish people.

Following the precept of Tikun Olam, the participants of Connections 2015 will have the opportunity to see innovative community service programs that are being implemented in low-income neighborhoods in Brazil.

The Associação Religiosa Israelita (ARI), host congregation, is preparing for this important occasion and will be the scenario of unforgettable religious services. For more information visit the website or send an email to

 Meeting of young Latin America Jews - Tikun Olam

We invite young Latin American Jews, ages 20 to 35, to enjoy a unique conference. This will be a conference in which we will combine the energy and strength of the youth with that of the adults. This time we will be a part of the CONNECTIONS 2015 international conference in which all of the progressive congregations, communities and organizations of the world come together. The young people will participate in lectures, workshops, panels and other activities.

Furthermore, we have our own locations for lectures, study, project sharing, communal areas in the synagogue and much of what the city of Rio de Janeiro has to offer.

We propose a weekend filled with experiences, workshops and exchange that will enrich our identity as Zionists and young Liberal Jews.

We will focus on the aspects that create our Jewish identity through TIKUN OLAM. We will approach questions and answers that are in our rabbinical and cultural sources on these topics. We will deal with social change as a result of individual and personal changes: Tikun Atzmi; that can originate Adam Tikun – reparation of the human being. Mifgash gives us the opportunity of facing current and relevant topics.

We will share projects from the Brazilian Jewish community, related to community service, trying to recover new methods of social action that will enrich us transforming us into active members of our society.

 You can still participate! Beutel Leadership Seminar 2015
In the past ten years, close to 200 people from all over the world participated in the Beutel Leadership Seminar. That is why it is common to find alumni of the Beutel contributing in various ways to the communities that belong to the WUPJ.

The next edition of the Beutel Seminar will be on February 5 to 15, 2015 in Israel. The registration form and tentative program are on the website of the Anita Saltz International Education Center of the WUPJ.

The seminar includes prayer workshops, study of texts, in loco visits and lectures. These are complemented by mifgash meetings with scholars, activists and leaders from a variety of organizations, including the extended family of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, as well as others who share the values of contemporary Judaism.

 ARI launches Devarim Magazine edition #25

ARI launched the number 25 of its magazine Devarim. With the launch of this edition, the magazine enters its tenth year of activity. Round numbers invite reflections and what can be done about the Devarim is very simple: its proposal to reflect the thoughts and concerns of Brazilian Jews committed at the same time with modernity and with Judaism remains valid.

Two articles stand out in this issue, without any devaluation for the others. The first is the professor of HUC in Los Angeles Joshua Holo and addresses the complex relationship between Jews and Christians, but with a focus well expanded where some questions raised about what has being a Jew today. It is a dense reading and a must for those interested in the Jewish condition.

The second is a translation of the text originally published by electronic Tablet magazine of journalist Matti Friedman where he analyzes the disproportionate importance that the topic "Israel and the Palestinians" occupies in global journalism. The author has deep knowledge about the subject through his personal experience and a special acuity. It is also a not to be missed reading that will add a much needed awareness to all readers of the magazine.

The magazine is not limited to these two articles, bringing up many other interesting topics, but can't be quoted here, by space limitations. We recommend that you read the magazine and make your own opinions.

Devarim is distributed free by ARI for all its members and to those who registered (and will register) on the website .We wish you a good read, a Happy Chanukah and a happy new year to all!

 Representative of the Huánuco/Peru community visits São Paulo

On a short trip to São Paulo, and on his way to Buenos Aires, Dr. Juan José Jimenez Bravo, president of the Beith Etz Chaim Jewish community in Huánuco met with Karin C. Zingerevitz and Berta Zylberstajn of the WUPJ-Latin America where they were able to evaluate and plan future projects to strengthen the ties with the WUPJ and the presence of Progressive Judaism in the region.


Ashrei hagfrur (Blessed is the match) / Hannah Szenes

Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame.

Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart's secret places.

Blessed is the heart that knows, for honors sake, to stop its beating.

Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame.

THE WUPJ-LA wishes Hanukkah Sameach

 Questions and answers regarding Progressive Judaism

I am Jewish and my wife is not. Every year we go to my in-laws house to celebrate Christmas. Is this going to be very confusing for my daughter?

If you and your wife are raising your daughter exclusively as a Jew and do not celebrate Christmas in your own home, spending the date with your in-laws can certainly be done as long as it is in an adequate manner. This is possible, in the same way that Christians can share a Pesach Seder with the Jewish side of the family.

The real issue, in this case, is what you mean with "expose" your daughter to Christianity. The children who are presented with both traditions, so that they can later chose what they want to follow, are not considered Jewish. They are also put it a difficult position when they have to chose between pleasing their father and disappointing their mother, or vice-versa.

Adaptation of the answer by Rabi Don Rossoff, on the website


World Union for Progressive Judaism - Latin America