Issue # 98 – January 2016 / Tevet - Shevat 5776.
 2015 Activities Report
The activities conducted by the WUPJ AmLat in 2015 are detailed in the Activities Report. The institution thanks the volunteers, the institutional leaders and professionals for their dedication, as well as the support of sponsors, our partners and the Yad B’Yad Task Force.

To read the whole report, click here.

 Rabbi Sergio Bergman takes office as Minister in Argentina
After being sworn in, with his hand over the Tanach, Rabbi Sergio Bergman took office as Environment and Sustainable Development Minister in the government of the newly elected Argentinean President, Mauricio Macri. Link to video

“President Mauricio Macri trusted me to work in a sensitive area that requires a lot of dialogue and the search for consensus. I take on this challenge with honor and enthusiasm”, stated Bergman during the swearing in ceremony. Picture Bergman 4

Miriam and Itche Vasserman, represented the WUPJ at the swearing in of the new minister and also at the Kabalat Shabbat service at the CIRA/Templo Libertad synagogue: “The celebration of Shabbat with Rabbi Sergio Bergman with the community leaders of the Fundación Judaica, at the Beth El Temple on December 11, 2015 was amazing and unique.

In 2001, at the height of the Argentinean crisis, my husband and I had the honor of meeting Rabbi Sergio Bergman during a special mission of the World Union for Progressive Judaism at the local community. At that moment we realized that we were before a very special human being, visionary and creative, capable of adding to and transforming the lives of thousands of people.

Our admiration and friendship only grew throughout these years working together with the Fundación Judaica, its leaders and members of the congregation who became one big family.
Today Rabbi Sergio Bergman starts a new challenge as Environment and Sustainability Minister with the new President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri. We wish him a successful journey, aligned with the humanistic and Jewish values that Bergman has always practiced and that he may contribute to the well-deserved improvement and advancement of the Argentinean society.”

 WUPJ Latin America Conference 2016

 “May the candles of Hanukkah shine and may their light fill us with hope”
The happiness and atmosphere of fellowship due to the proximity of the end of year made the Hanukkah celebration even more special at the communities affiliated to the WUPJ AmLat. See the picture of the collective lighting of the candles and the special ceremonies.

 Community in Chile celebrates centenary

Founded on April 29, 1916, the Valparaiso synagogue, Comunidad Israelita Max Nordau, began the celebration for its centenary with the construction of a collective Hanukkiah.

 The Synagogue of the Comunidad Israelita de Concepción/Chile was Inaugurated
The new syngogue in Concepción, Chile was inaugurated and it will now be called “Templo Angel Kreiman Brill".


A special liturgy was used at the inauguration ceremony, which was followed by the lighting of the Hanukkah candles.


During the ceremony, the community paid homage to Susy Wolinsky de Kreiman z’l and the 85 victims of the 1994 attack on the AMIA (Argentina), with a monument, which was made by her daughter Marianella Kreiman, placed on the road in front of the community.


The Fundación Judaica gifted the new synagogue with a donation of the "Et Bazman" siddurim, demonstrating the union and cooperation among the synagogues affiliated to the WUPJ AmLat.


Marianella also donated old paintings owned by Ángel Kreiman z’l to the community.


 Women from the SIBRA are pioneers in the use of Tefillin in Brazil

In Porto Alegre, following the inspiration of other communities, mainly the ones in the United States, and the example of the ‘Nashot HaKotel’– Women of the Kotel – group in Israel, December 17, 2015 became a mark in the history of the SIBRA and the Jewish community in Porto Alegre and Brazil.

For the first time a group of women (young women, mothers and grandmothers) wore Tefillin during the Shacharit prayer, accompanied by Guershon Kwasniewski. The group prepared itself by studying together to understand the significance of fulfilling the mitzvah of wearing the Tefillin. The chazanit Carla Knijnik was responsible for the project and even came into contact with the inspiring movement in Israel who congratulated the group on the initiative.

 Christmas celebration in the most Jewish way

On the last Christmas Eve, over thirty volunteers from the WUPJ AmLat and the Novas Geraçőes (New Generations) do CJL (Jewish Latin American Congress) joined the Anjos da Cidade Group to prepare a delicious Christmas dinner, organize the donation of personal hygiene kits, clothes and other gifts for over 120 homeless people from the city of Săo Paulo. During the distribution on the streets, they were able to take a little of our love and attention to those in need, and to help the vulnerable population celebrate this date more decently. See the pictures by Lilian Knobel.
 SIC - Sociedade Israelita do Ceará has a new management
The new management of the SIC – Sociedade Israelita do Ceará for the 2016/2017 biennial was elected in December 2015 at its headquarters in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará. The new president is Pablo Schejtman, with Marcus Strozberg as vice-president and Alex Azulai as the director of the synagogue. We wish the new management success!

 Celebrating Tu B’Shvat - "Jewish New Year of the trees”

The holiday is observed on the 15th (tu) day of the Hebrew month of Shevat (Feb 3-4, 2015). Scholars believe that originally Tu B’Shvat was an agricultural festival, marking the beginning of spring. The holiday also became a festival for the planting of trees in Israel, in which the Israeli and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of loved ones and friends.

Dynamic activities and attractive content for this occasion can be found in the supplement "Beit Haam" edited in Spanish and Portuguese by the World Jewish Congress (WZO-World Zionist Organization).
  TaMaR Israel Conference

 Devarim magazine has a new issue

On December 18, ARI launched issue number 28 of the Devarim magazine, dedicated since 2006 – 10 years ago – to promoting Brazilian Jewish culture as well as Jewish culture produced in other parts of the world.

In this issue we write about the interesting experience of a Kabalat Shabbat at an LGBT synagogue through a good humored and informative text. Among other great writers we have: educator Sandra Lilienthal who writes about Jewish education from kindergarten to adult life; scholar Arnaldo Niskier in a narrative on remembering the Shoa; Rabbis of the ARI in exclusive texts and Rabbi Edelheit writing about the dialogue of Jews with the larger society.

The magazine is distributed to all Portuguese-speaking people free of charge. Who ever wants to receive it must register at

 Questions and Answers of Progressive Judaism
Estou familiarizado com um seder de Pessach, mas o que é o seder de Tu B'Shvat?

In the XVII century, the Cabbalists created a ritual for Tu B’Shvat similar to a Pesach Seder. They would get together for a meal with various dishes composed of fruits associated with the Land of Israel. The custom is to include in the Tu B’Shvat Seder food that includes fruits from three classes: thick-skinned fruit (oranges), fruit with pits (dates) and fruit that are totally edible (raisins).

Answer adapted from a text by Rabbi Victor Appel, at

 WUPJ Seminars in 2016 – Live the unforgettable experience!
• The Beutel Seminar for Progressive Jewish Leadership – February 4-14, Israel • Kenes TaMaR – March 30 – April 3, Israel:

• European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), Biennial Conference, April 14-17, England

• The Roswell Seminar for Social Justice, May 22-26, Israel

• The Bergman Seminar for Jewish Educators July 14-24, Israel

• Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) Conference, May 27-28, Israel

• The WUPJ also recommends the Regional Nahum Goldmann Fellowship – February 14-16, Cuba
(offered by an independent foundation)

See the schedule of the conferences of each WUPJ region throughout the world.

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