This week, from Wednesday through Sunday, Temple President Susan Levinson, Past President and member of the URJ Board, Stuart Rayvid, Barbara Rayvid, Cantor Galit Dadoun Cohen, Debbi Farkas, Jennie Rubin, Fran and I will be attending the Biennial convention of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the umbrella organization of North American Reform Temples. The URJ Biennial, held this year in San Diego, is the largest Jewish religious gathering in North America, bringing together nearly 5,000 people from more than 500 congregations and 14 countries. We will be joining with other lay leaders and professionals from Reform congregations, youth, college students, congregants, future and new leaders, clergy, scholars, affiliates, vendors, entertainers and musicians, to learn, pray, share ideas, dance and sing, hear from inspiring guest speakers, reunite with old friends, create new connections, and make decisions about the policies of the Reform Movement.
Among the featured speakers will be
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel
Julian Bond, Former Chairman NAACP, former President of Southern Poverty Law Center, and founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Anat Hoffman, Executive Director, Israel Religious Action Center, and Chairwoman, Women of the Wall
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Ruth Calderon, Jewish Educator and Member of Israeli Knesset, Yesh Atid
Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, President, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History.
Jay Feinberg, Founder and CEO of Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation
Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
Mark Bittman, Lead Food Writer, New York Times
Ari Weinzweig, Co-Owner & Founding Partner, Zingerman’s Delicatessen i
And we are proud to announce that our own Pre-School Director, Jennie Rubin, will be a presenter at a session on Reform Early Childhood Education.
We hope to make you part of this exciting experience, so watch this blog for further “TBO Updates from the URJ Biennial. “
– Rabbi Donald Rossoff