Guadalajara 2012 – 13th. UJCL Convention (Union of
Jewish congregations of Latin America and Caribbean)
participation WUPJ-LA delegation
Convention brings together representatives from 16 countries
The 13th Convention of the Union of Jewish Congregations of Latin America and the Caribbean (UJCL), held at the end of January in Guadalajara, Mexico, brought together over 150 people from 16 countries, including 20 rabbis, other religious and lay leaders, professionals and volunteers from various organizations from the region and also from Argentina, Brazil, United States and Israel.
The UJCL is formed by the various Progressive, Liberal and Conservative Jewish institutions within a region that extends from Colombia in South America, to Mexico in North America, including Central America and the Caribbean. Besides the WUPJ, other entities participated such as the Joint Distribution Committee, the Latin American Jewish Congress, the B'nai B'rith and the Masorti Olami.
With the intention of instigating the public to reflect, the subjects of the main lectures were presented in a question format: "Do small communities have a future?"; "What to do regarding mixed marriages?"; "What is the sense of interreligious dialogue?"; "How do we reconnect with our roots?"; "Is there a Latin American Judaism?"; and "Pluralism in Israel: Myth or reality?".
The WUPJ group was headed by its president, Rabbi Stephen Fuchs, and its vice president, Rabbi Joel Oseran. Also present were the representatives of the Yad B'Yad Task Force, who contributed with projects from the WUPJ in Latin America, Jerry Tanenbaum (chair), Stephen Breslauer and Stephen Olson.
The WUPJ youth group was represented by the Rabbi Josh Lober and by the Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, from the United States; and by Yuval Nemirovsky, from the Netzer Olami/TaMar movement in Israel.
Present from the WUPJ-LA were the president Miriam Vasserman; the vice president Raul Gottlieb; and the executive secretary, Berta Zylberstajn; as well as Rabbi Dario Bialer and vice president Teresa Roth from the ARI-RJ; Rabbi Guido Cohen and Uriel Romano from the AIP in Buenos Aires; and the volunteers Erika Wolff and Hélio Zylberstajn.
The 14th Convention of the UJCL will take place in 2014, in Costa Rica, organized by the B'nei Israel Congregation.
Panama 2010 – 12th. UJCL Convention (Union of
Jewish congregations of Latin America and Caribbean) /
participation WUPJ-LA delegation
Held in Panama City, from 27 to 31 January 2010, the twelfth edition of the annual Convention of the Union of Jewish Communities of Latin America and Caribbean, UJCL. With the theme ' Constructing community in the XXI century: Challenges and Opportunities ', the meeting addressed issues such as education, youth, Interfaith dialog, tsedacá, Israel and the diaspora, and much more. Among the attendance were Jorge Schuilman and Fabian Triskier, Director for Latin America of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC); Rabbi Joel Oseran, Vice President of international development of the WUPJ; Mirta Goldflus, President of the International Council of Latin American of Jewish Women (ICJW); Enrique Burbinsky, Director of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) for Latin America; and Rony Steinitz, Director for Latin America of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Rabbi Joshua Kullock executive director of UJCL along with Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik, Rabbi of the community of Panama were in command of the local organizing Committee.
Received seven different rabbis from abroad. On Friday night, all those rabbis sang together, and Saturday morning they taught Torah from different perspectives.
The Convention presented the first book on the weekly Torah portion written in Spanish in this region, and written by five regional rabbis.
The figures spoke for themselves: 177 people from 15 countries, each bringing their own coloring, voice and knowledge. It was a remarkable number which will improve in the next Convention, be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in January 2012.
Cordoba 2009 – 1st. Meeting of the Executive Council
of World Union Latin America
Held in Córdoba, Argentina, 3-6 December 2009, the 1st Meeting of the Executive Council of the WUPJ Latin America. The event, which was attended by representatives of Argentine, Brazilian, Chilean and Panamanian entities, had also the participation of rabbis: Marcelo Polakoff, Fabian Zaidemberg, Sebastian Vainstein and Joel Oseran, Vice President of international development of the WUPJ and the religious leaders, Guershon Kwasniewski and Leo Kraselnik. Among the participating institutions were members from Argentina: of Fundación Judaica, Arlene Fern School, Congregation NCI-EmanuEl, Synagogue Libertad CIRA, fourteen congregations from the Asociación Israelita de las Pampas-AIP and Jewish spirituality Centre Mishkan; from Brazil: ARI, CIP and SIBRA; in addition, the synagogue Ruaj Ami Chile and Congregación Kol Shearith Israel, from Panama, also representing the UJCL. Click the player below to watch a snippet of Havdalá ceremony held before being served a delicious barbecue kasher.
WUPJ participates in the Joint Distribution Committee
Representatives of the WUPJ were also a part of the Brazilian delegation at the 10th Meeting of Institutions and Leaders of the Jewish Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized by the Joint Distribution Committee in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in partnership with the Mutual Israeli Argentinean Association (Amia). Approximately 1400 people attended some of the presentations.
The representative of the WUPJ in Latin America, Miriam Vasserman, was present at the meeting and presents a summary, regarding the difficulty in attracting people to community activities. “This meeting was an important landmark where I was able to contemplate rabbis and leaders from various religious lines and ideologies within the same forum. I believe that only in this way can we fortify our communities, breaking the ‘barriers’ that impede us from talking and growing”, she stated.
It is worth noting that the Rabbi Roberto Feldmann, from Congregation Yakar, programmed an important agenda, which has converted the mission to Santiago in an extraordinary and unforgettable experience.
Surrounded by nature, the Congregation is located in a Natural context called Villa Vida Natural. There, they offer their members a diverse number of spiritual and physical activities, such as anti-stress Judo taikon, reflexology, sauna, etc., in addition to the usual religious services.
Outdoors, under a walnut tree, with a beautiful view of the Andes Yakar members usually celebrate Shabbat. In this scenario Rabbi Roberto Feldmann beyond Shabbat services celebrates Jewish holidays during the summer and spring.
Jerry Tanenbaum, Chairman of the Yad bYad Task Force gave a presentation about the movement and the work which the WUPJ performs in the region.
Suggestions were also presented for new projects to the strength of the local community.
WUPJ-LA representatives' participation in the 36th.
World Congress of the World Zionist Organization
The latest edition of the World Zionist Congress was held from 15 to 17 June in Jerusalem and was attended by two representatives of the WUPJ-LA: volunteer Eduardo Zylberstajn and Flávio Levi Moreira, director of the same financial entity, and Rabbi Guido Cohen, Colegio Tarbut of Buenos Aires.
The first plenary session was attended by the speeches of Kalman Sultanik, who spoke on behalf of the veterans delegates of Congress and judge Tova Strasberg Cohen. Hagai Meirom as Treasurer of the WZO,
and Rabbi Asher Hirsch, did a short review of the management of the movement since the last edition of the Congress and then paid tribute to the leaders who excelled in the same period.
Were cited the Argentine Mordejay Dayan and Najum Shultz, who lived for years in Uruguay. The second plenary session featured a presentation "The Zionism": the vision of Herzl in constant renovation, made by professor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shlomo Avineri, while the third was dedicated to the words of Tzipi Livni, a member of the Knesset and current leader of Kadima.
Click here and read the article "the Radical Democrats", published in the magazine Shalom and authored Zylberstajn and Levi Moreira, two representatives of the World Union Latin America, about this edition of the World Zionist Congress.