Issue # 90 – May 2015 / Iar - Sivan, 5775
 Connections 2015 –WUPJ International Conference in Rio de Janeiro

There is still
time to register!

The WUPJ International will hold its biennial conference in Rio de Janeiro, on May 13th to the 16th, with an intense program with the central theme
"Simcha, Soul and Solidarity".

Registration is open /
Special prices for Latin American
and youth participants

Lecturers from all over the world and discussions with representatives from congregations from various regions, using a language that is up to date and pertinent to our daily life.

Speakers confirmed:
 • Rabbi Aaron Panken – President of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, largest rabbinical seminar of the reform movement
 • Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson – two superstars of Jewish music together in an unforgettable show!

Program Highlights:
 • Kabalat Shabbat at the ARI-RJ – "Rio with open arms!"
 • Havdalah ceremony on the beach in Copacabana
 • Gala dinner at the Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Hotel

 • Favela Vigário Geral e sede do Afroreggae
 • Colégio Israelita Brasileiro A. Liessin – Scholem Aleichem
 • Escola Israelita Bras. Eliezer Steinbarg – Max Nordau
 • Jewish Cemetery of Inhauma

Optional Programs:
 • Rabbinic Kallah, with an exchange of experiences among religious leaders from Latin America and of the WUPJ International
 • Lashir Benefesh, seminar for cantors, musicians and professionals who conduct religious ceremonies with a unique melody
 • Mifgash, young people together to discuss the values and the future of Progressive Judaism

See article from the FIERJ - Federação Israelita do Rio de Janeiro – presenting the CONNECTIONS 2015. LINK

 Committed to Latin America

The Yad B'Yad Task Force group, created in 2002 to support projects in Latin America after a WUPJ International delegation visited the region, has a new president.

Rabbi Roberto Graetz takes over the position held by Jerry Tanenbaum this month of May, during a tribute at the Connections 2015 conference in Rio de Janeiro.

Under the command of Tanenbaum, the Yad B'Yad Task Force contributed to the growth of Progressive Judaism in Latin America, with missions for exchange of experiences, fundraising and strategic planning.

With the help of the group created by Steve and Sandy Z"L Breslauer and Jerry and Pat Z"L Tanenbaum, the WUPJ-LA, among other conquests, was able to send representatives from congregations in the region to seminars in Israel; hold the Lashir Benefesh seminars for cantors and musicians; and begin translating the book Commentary Palut Torah into Portuguese.

The new president of the Yad B'Yad Task Force is familiar with Latin America. Graetz worked as Rabbi in congregations in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, and was also the first Director of the WUPJ for Latin America.

 Le Shaná Habá Birushalaim!

The times of slavery in Egypt have been left behind, but there are still things today that oppress and complicate our lives. May we all be able to leave our "Egypts" in the present day, leaving the "chametz" that oppresses us. See the video below with the celebration of the freedom party during the community Seder at the ARI-RJ. LINK

At the Congregação Israelita Paulista (CIP), the Seder of the Fritz Pinkuss Camp was held for the first time. Chanichim, teshugos and madrichim got together in the main hall of the congregation to celebrate with a lot of music, joy and Jewish content.

The organizing committee of the community Seder at the Comunidad Israelita de Concepción, in Chile, praised the fact that they were able to bring together a large group of people.

The 1st Pesach Seder at the ACIB- Associação Israelita de Brasília was attended by close to 160 people among adults and children.

We welcomed the Polish Ambassador to Brazil, Andrzej Braiter, and the Austrian Ambassador to Brazil, Marianne Feldmann.

The Sociedade Israelita do Ceará (SIC) also organized a community Seder attended by many children and local authorities such as the state representative Heitor Ferrer.

The Centro Israelita de Pernambuco (CIP) celebrated Pesach bringing together many members and activists under the religious guidance of Chazan David Leo Eisencraft.

At the Associação Israelita Catarinense (AIC), with the assistance of the Conib (Confederação Israelita do Brasil), the community Seder was attended by guests from Uruguay, Argentina, Israel, France and the United States.

In Argentina, the Comunidad NCI- EMANU EL, the Escuela Comunitária Arlene Fern and the Fundación Judaica celebrated Pesach with the intent of furthering the studies on the celebration of freedom.

The result of this was a Seder with many families, especially with children who participated in a lively Shirei Tzibur, and who paid close attention to the explanations in the Hagada texts and also searched for the Afikoman.

Nicolas Rosenthal, Holocaust survivor, shared with everyone a reflection on the phrase "Vehi sheamda"- "And this has protected us".

The ADAT ISRAEL/Guatemala community gathered once again to celebrate a festive seder.

 Outreach Project – Community in Brasilia is visited by Educator Miriam Markus
The Associação Cultural Israelita de Brasília (ACIB) prepared for the Pesach celebrations by welcoming educator Miriam Markus who has worked as a teacher in various institutions within the Progressive Jewish community.

During the visit, which was sponsored by the Reach Project of the WUPJ-LA, Miriam gave a lecture on the Parasha of the week, and after the weekly community dinner, discussed the topic "Innovations in Pesach and rediscovering the Hagadah".

The guest also participated in meetings with ACIB directors, Wizo representatives, and the team that organizes the kid's activities for the Shabbat Ieladim and youth groups.

 Temple Libertad finished the restoration of the historical stained glass windows

The synagogue at the Temple Libertad, in Buenos Aires/Argentina, recently celebrated the conclusion of the second phase of the restoration of the historical stained glass windows of its façade, which was started in 2013. The project was conducted thanks to the contribution of the Fondo Metropolitano de las Artes and was supervised by specialist Gustavo Bonnila and was accompanied by the Historical Heritage Management Department of the local government.

 Questions and answers regarding Progressive Judaism
How does Progressive Judaism begin working in a region or with a group of people?

Progressive Judaism has strong principles, but there is also an equivalent operational principle of strength. We begin with people wherever they are and we work in partnership, encouraging them to have a fuller and more dynamic expression of their Judaism. We try to include people. We recognize that many factors affect the path of life taken by each individual. We can at least offer those Jews who search for the truth a Jewish "home". Our experience has shown us that they bring with them talents, perception and experiences that can benefit all.

Source: Living Judaism – The key principles of Progressive Jewish Life –

 International news
The WUPJ News invites you to subscribe to our international newsletter. Our communications department in Israel keeps us up to date with a vibrant, creative and relevant Judaism that is being celebrated in many parts of the globe, how you can engage in these groups and the initiatives our activists are commuted to. Link