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Scholar in Residence
Rabbinical Kallah
"Alcance" Program
   Capacitation encounter
   Visit to Santo André
   Visit to Ribeirão Preto
   Pessach at AIC
   Visit to Santos
Lashir Benefesh

"Alcance" (Outreach) Program

The project goals are:

Combat assimilation in small Jewish communities; strengthen Jewish identity and establish and strengthen links and cohesion of the community.

Create a network that facilitates interaction, communication and support between regional communities; form educators and community leaders (professionals or volunteers) in Latin America, providing tools to create and distribute knowledge in the region through training and extension of content to small communities.

Small Communities

Training Meeting

WUPJ Latin America's Alcance Program brings together small communities in São Paulo and also from other states in Brazil. December/2009 began a project of fundamental importance to the strengthening and continuation of Judaism in São Paulo and in Brazil. This is the Alcance Program, which is the fruit of an initiative of the World Union for Progressive Judaism in Latin America (WUPJ-LA) with the important support of FISESP. The larger goal of the project is to give support to smaller communities of São Paulo and in the future, regions of the North-East, Centre and South of the country.

Held at the headquarters of the Congregação Israelita Paulista (CIP), the all day long training program was attended by the interesting and enlightening lectures of Rabbi Ruben Sternschein, chazan Alexandre Edelstein and sheliach tzibur David Leo Eisencraft and the presence of representatives from smaller communities of São Paulo.

The highlight of the meeting was the lecture by Rabbi Joel Oseran, entitled Liberal Judaism as heir of the tradition of the Maccabees, which filled the Auditorium Haber of the Congregation. Rabbi Oseran is the Vice President of World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) and responsible for developing and programming of international organizations.


Visit to Santo André – lecture by Raul Gottlieb

In his first action, on October 29, the Outreach Program, in partnership with FISESP, led to ARISA- Associação Religiosa Israelita of St. André, the lecture "The price of change versus the danger of irrelevance", given by Raul Gottlieb WUPJ vice president of WUPJ- Latin America and editor of the Devarim magazine, of the "Associação Israelita of Rio de Janeiro (ARI). The meeting discussed the need to modify the traditions to preserve the essence of Judaism. "It was an interesting exchange of ideas about Judaism and the evolution of their customs, always focusing on the values of our ancient religion", he said.

Gottlieb also explained how Jewish traditions were created and how the understanding of the process of creation and acceptance of the same can steer the Reform Movement. According to Dr. Jair Kuhn, President of ARISA: "it was a cultural event that has brought to our community the opportunity to encounter new insights of Judaism. Brought a salutary debate which has already left open the possibility of new talks aiming the future Community ".

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Visit to Ribeirão Preto – Cabalat Shabbat

A new activity of the Outreach program was held at the end of April: a lively Cabalat Shabbat in the SIRP, Israeli Society of Ribeirão Preto, which counts today with about 50 people.

The religious service, which was conducted by Cantor David Leo Eisencraft and accompanied by musician David Andrade Palermo, both from São Paulo, capital, was attended by the President of SIRP, Moacir Braun, his Vice-President Elaine Goldstein, the Treasurer Albert Salem, Franja Hamburger religious director and Secretary Miriam Herscovici Martines, and Marly Salem, event director of the entity. By WUPJL-LA attended his President Miriam Vasserman, and Executive Secretary Berta Zylberstajn, Erika Wolff and Helio Zylberstajn, volunteers from the institution. The Executive Secretary Marcelo W. Secemski represented FISESP.

Was cited, on the occasion, the memory of Mr. Adolpho Rothschild, a founding partner of SIRP, and the celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the State of Israel.

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Pessach Seder at AIC

The SIBRA-RS´s spiritual leader, Guershon Kwasniewski, on the initiative of both the WUPJ-LA and Israelite Confederation of Brazil (Conib), conducted the Community Pessach Seder at the Catarinense Israelite Association (AIC), in Hotel Jurerê Beach Village, in Florianópolis.

"Florianópolis is a community with a potential, and in need of assistance. I appreciate the receptiveness and I highlight the Organization of the event, which allowed me to do the job with total freedom", said Kwasniewski, referring specifically to the President of the AIC, Julia S. Guivant, and its Managing Director, Iéte Arruda Salome.

The spiritual leader also became enthused with the participation of the public who followed the reading of the Hagada. "It was a wonderful moment when children represented each one of the plagues, with the help of the Hashomer´s madrichim . The Echad Mi Iodea was conducted by the community. I simply offered the microphone ".

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Cabalat Shabbat in Santos

The latest program activity of the Outreach Program was an animated Cabalat Shabbat, in early June, in the synagogue Bet Jacob, in Santos, São Paulo coastline, which has a community with approximately 150 people.

The religious service was conducted by Sheliach tzibur David Leo Eisencraft, accompanied by musician Marcelo Frenkiel. Present were the President of the synagogue Bet Jacob, Jaques Zonis; the President of the synagogue Beit Sion, Carlos Homsi; the President of the Israeli Cultural Center, Brancan Kives Ostronoff and the Vice President, Ricardo A. Schmitman. The WUPJL-LA was represented by its President, Miriam Vasserman, and the FISESP (Israeli Federation of the State of São Paulo), by the Executive Secretary Marcelo W. Secemski.

The Outreach Program scope, an initiative of the WUPJ-LA, with the important support of FISESP, has as main objective to support the smaller community centers, with the promotion of the development of Judaism, encouraging and facilitating the formation of progressive Jewish institutions, besides stimulating the study of Judaism and the recognition of its place in modern life.

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