Scholar in Residence (Brazil and extension to Latin America)
Brazil: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte,
Porto Alegre and Manaus. Argentina: Córdoba and Buenos Aires. Chile: Valparaiso and Santiago.
The Scholar in Residence is a program that brings to the region someone notable, with deep knowledge in a topic, for lectures and meetings with community leaders, communities' youth and professional of the cities mentioned above.
Communities Receive The Visit Of Rabbi Stephen L. Fuchs –
Porto Alegre, 2012
With the support of the Conib (Israeli Confederation of Brazil) Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), received the visit ofthe President of the WUPJ, Rabbi Stephen Fuchs, who participated in activities organized by Sergio Caraver, president of SIBRA Congregation and by Professor Guershon Kwasniewski, religious leader. Besides meetings with the Jewish community, Rabbi Fuchs' agenda also included meetings with an inter-religious dialogue group and with the mayor, José Fortunati. The President of the WUPJ also visited the construction site of one of the stadiums for the Soccer World Cup of 2014 and played a little soccer with a group of underprivileged children.
The Zero Hora newspaper, one of the most renowned in Brazil, published an interview with Rabbi Fuchs, emphasizing his "way of exercising faith following the evolution of customs".
In Chile, the city of Santiago received Rabbi Joel Oseran, the WUPJ's Vice President of International Development. Victor Grimblatt, president and Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky from the Ruach Ami Congregation, which has been becoming an important alternative for those people interested in Progressive Judaism in the capital city of Chile, held activities with Rabbi Oseran, discussing topics such as "Challenges for Israel and the Jewish world in the 21st century"; "Why am I a Progressive Jew?"; and also the need for cooperation between the different Jewish movements existing in Chile.
The Vice President of the WUPJ also visited other Chilean institutions, like the Yakar community in Santiago leaded by Rabbi Roberto Feldmann and the Max Nordau Congregation in Valparaiso, which had been seriously damaged in an earthquake in 2010 and received resources from a WUPJ fund for its reconstruction.
Rabbi Michael Marmur Visits São Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro - 2012
With the support of the Conib (Israeli Confederation of Brazil) , the communities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro had the visit of Rabbi Michael Marmur who was in Brazil for the first time. Rabbi Marmur is Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, responsible for the campuses in New York, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Jerusalem.
At the CIP Congregation (Congregação Israelita Paulista), hosted by president Sergio Kulikovsky and Rabbi Ruben Sternschein, Rabbi Marmur spoke about "The various meanings of Masoret: the legitimacy of Liberal Judaism in Israel and throughout the world", where he spoke about the importance of traditions in contemporary society.
Still in the capital city of São Paulo, Rabbi Marmur participated in a meeting with a group of young couples who hold monthly shiurim with rabbis from the CIP Congregation. The WUPJ representative spoke about the topic "Why am I a Reform Jew?" emphasizing the dilemma about how to conciliate Judaism and modernity, which instigated the audience.
At the ARI Congregation (Associação Religiosa Israelita) in Rio de Janeiro, hosted by the president Evelyn Milsztajn, vice-president Teresa Roth and by the Rabbis Sergio Margulies and Dario Bialer, Rabbi Marmur spoke about space and time, making an analogy with the name of the city: Rio (space) de Janeiro (time). Also at ARI, Rabbi Marmur participated in a Torah study group after the Shabat religious service and in a Havdalah ceremony with a group of young people.
With the support of Conib (Israeli Confederation of Brazil) the city of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil) was the destination of Professor Paul Liptz, Director of Education at the WUPJ's Anita Saltz International Education Center in Jerusalem, before the conference in Argentina.
Welcomed by president Maria Antonieta Cohen, Rabbi Leonardo Alanati and other leaders of the CIM Congregation (Congregação Israelita Mineira), Liptz conducted lectures for the local community, university students and professionals and also at a meeting with representatives from Jewish institutions, such as the Israeli Federation of Minas Gerais, Israeli Brazilian Association, Theodor Herzl School, Na'amat Pioneers and Wizo. The agenda also included a visit to a small Jewish community in Ouro Preto, one of the most important historical cities in Brazil and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Visit of Rabbi Roberto Graetz –,
Rio de Janeiro,
Porto Alegre, Manaus and Belo Horizonte - 2011
Rabbi Roberto Graetz, vice president of the North American Council of the WUPJ and part of the clergy at the Temple Isaiah in California (USA), visited the Jewish communities in Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Manaus, in a joint initiative with the Israeli Confederation of Brazil (Conib).
The first stop was Manaus, where he met with entire families, including children, at the Hebraica and at the local synagogue. The topics of the lectures included contemporary Judaism, Israel: its virtues as a modern state, problems and future vision.
In a chat with 18 young people between 20 and 30, themes were: Judaism and human rights - which he commented on his experience during the dictatorship in Argentina; the role of rabbi Henry Sobel in the episode in the death of Vladimir Herzog; Judaism and social justice - pointing Israel as a reference for social justice citing cases for refugees from various conflicts (such as Darfur and Vietnam) and the internal social activism.
At the SIBRA, in Porto Alegre, the rabbi conducted a lecture on the night of Kristallnacht, November 9th. In the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, Graetz met with local leaders and spoke about anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. He also spoke with students of the Theodor Herzl School – the only Jewish school in the state of Minas Gerais.
In Rio de Janeiro, the rabbi participated in the Kabbalat Shabbat and discussed the subject "Why Pray?" The following day, he celebrated the Havdalá ceremony during his visit to the Pão de Açucar Mountain. Graetz also gave an interview to the ARI70 project since he was a rabbi at the institution for almost 20 years.
Communities receive the visit of Rabbi Clifford M. Kulwin
Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Brasília - 2011
The WUPJ-LA, in partnership with the Brazil´s Israelite Confederation (Conib), received Rabbi Clifford M. Kulwin, who participated in activities with the Jewish communities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ceará and Brasília.
Kulwin is spiritual leader of Temple B'nai Abraham, in New Jersey since 1999. He has acted in several communities affiliated to the WUPJ worldwide, including ARI-RJ. His work has often been facilitated by the fact that he is fluent, besides English, in Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. The Rabbi also writes articles for the newspapers New Jersey Jewish News and Star-Ledger.
In São Paulo, among other activities, the Rabbi participated in a meeting with CIP´s leaders, where he addressed the subjects: "The spirit of belonging – how to attract and retain members"; "Relationship: activists x professionals – how to integrate the various areas to obtain a healthy and proactive relationship "; and "Commitment: the need for commitment and dedication of directors and coordinators".
Still in São Paulo, Kulwin attended a Pessach Seder at the Jewish Culture Community Center (CCJ).
In ARI-RJ, the schedule of the visit included his participation in a Kabalat Shabbat, and on Saturday the Rabbi made the study of the Torah during the Kiddush following the Shabbat morning service. He also participated in the recording of an interview for the program "Community on TV," at the Israelite Federation of Rio de Janeiro (Fierj).
The celebration of Passover also marked Kulwin´s visit to Fortaleza, where he participated in a community seder organized by the Israelite Society of Ceará (SIC), with the presence of more than 100 people.
At the Israelite Cultural Association of Brasília (ACIB), the Rabbi knew the synagogue, the design of future installations of the brasiliense community, and the cemetery. He also had the opportunity to see other temples, such as the imposing mosque of the Brazilian capital. During the visit, Kulwin still agreed with ACIB´s representatives that it is necessary to hire a fixed Rabbi, so that the institution have conditions to attract more associates.
Chazan Andrew Bernard visit to Brazilian communities - 2009
Chazan Bernard, who is from the late 90 at Temple Beth El in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is vice chairman of the Joint Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ), was in Brazil and visited entities from three big capitals. In Porto Alegre, attended the fourth edition of Lasher Benefesh and recital in honor of 75 years SIBRA, in Belo Horizonte, as well as meet with local Jewish school students, participated in a concert for the patrons of the Congregation Israelita Mineira (CIM) and a workshop with the choir of volunteers. In São Paulo, HE attended a Kabalat Shabbat in the synagogue of the Renascença Jewish School which was conducted by shaliach tsibur Rony Grabarz and was accompanied by the conductor Carlos Slivzkin and the chazan Felipe Grytz.
Cantor Rita Glassman Sings and is enchanted with Brazil - 2007
Chazanit Rita Glassman, from Congregation Sherit Israel, in San Francisco, USA, identifies a lot with Latin America, where she works as a volunteer for the WUPJ's Yad B' Yad Task Force (World Union for Progressive Judaism) and reinforces the work of Progressive Judaism in this region. Permeated with this spirit, she visited various congregations during her visit to Brazil in July.
In Rio de Janeiro, close to 600 people were touched by the beauty and sonority of the concert celebrating the 65th anniversary of ARI - Associação Religiosa Israelita. Chazanit Rita Glassman, special guest, and the synagogue's chazzanim André Nudelamn and Adi Hadary, together with the organ player and conductor Regina Lacerda, and the Liturgical Choir filled the synagogue with their voices and music. The president Marina Ventura Gottlieb opened the night crying out to the generations to continue the work begun with ARI's foundation in 1942 and the mission of propagating the fundamentals of Liberal Judaism.
Chazanit Rita Glassman also participated in the Kabalat Shabbat service at CIP – Congregação Israelita Paulista, in a very special manner, introducing prayers and songs, with parts in Portuguese, practically without any accent. After the Kabalat Shabbat, she presented a varied show, with traditional and modern songs, to the delight of the spectators.
Rita also went to Campos de Jordão, São Paulo, to visit the Fritz Pinkus Learning Camp, owned by CIP, where she celebrated de Havdalah service with 60 children in the pre bat and bar mitzvah age group. Rita talked to the children and told them about her decision to become a chazanit in liberal congregations in the United States, her difficulties and her successes. She felt absolutely comfortable with the group and told them that it was in places like this where she decided what her profession would be, which she follows today in such a glorious manner.
Continuing her trip throughout Brazil, Rita Glassman also went to Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. There, she conducted an emotional performance with contemporary liturgical Jewish music, without forgetting the Yiddish and Ladino classics. The event was promoted by the SIBRA and Israeli Center synagogues.
Rita Glassman was accompanied by Ana Schicmann, Heloisa Weinreb and Ricardo Faertes. Guilherme Goldberg was the show's musical director and also played the piano. Diego Grendene on the clarinet and Daniel Lima on the percussion also performed. The spiritual leaders Guershon Kwasniewski from SIBRA and Iehuda Gitelman from the Israeli Center were the general directors of the show.
Since it was Erev Shabbat, Rita participated in the religious service together with the members of the congregation and during the Kiddush had the honor of holding the wine goblet.
Professor Paul Bernard Liptz visited Brazil in October 2005 visiting Jewish communities in several states. It was an initiative of the WUPJ-LA which aims to bring people to the various issues related to Jewish education, the history of Judaism, Judaism in the Jewish communities around the world, the State of Israel and the Middle East conflict.
During his visit to Brazil, Professor Liptz participated, in São Paulo, in activities at the Center for Jewish Culture, gave talks, and also a trip with a group of families of the Congregação Israelita Paulista, in the retreat place in Campos do Jordão.
The itinerary also includes participation in the activities of the Israeli Religious Association (ARI) in Rio de Janeiro, the Congregation Israelita Mineira (CIM) in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre a joint meeting with representatives of SIBRA (Sociedade Israelita Brasileira), and the AIC- Israeli Association of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis.
Topics addressed by Liptz: modern anti-Semitism, the Jewish world in the twenty-first century, religious pluralism and education in Israel.