WUPJ hosts exciting conference in May 2013

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The World Union For Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) will be holding its 36th biennial international convention, Connections 2013, in Jerusalem in May 2013.

The WUPJ is the international umbrella
organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200
congregations with 1.8 million members in 45 countries. The World Union strengthens Jewish life in
Israel and worldwide by establishing and supporting modern, pluralistic congregations and institutions,
developing Jewish communal and youth leadership and advancing social justice.

The World Union’s biennial international convention is a unique event – full of spirit, learning, sharing
and fun – where Reform, Progressive and Liberal Jews from around the world connect with
each other and help shape the future of their movements.

The theme of the 36th convention is “Being the Difference.” It aims to highlight the integration of
Progressive Jews as well as their commitment to Tikkun Olam, by creating the opportunity to learn,
explore, question, involve and inspire our family from across the globe, showcasing the diversity of our
progressive Jewish world, celebrating our achievements, and building closer links and bridges between our
communities worldwide to shape our future. The focus is on what it means to be a Progressive Jew in
the 21st century.

From the opening ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, May 1st through the closing Gala evening
event on Sunday, May 5, the convention will offer workshops and panel discussions, walking tours and field trips,
study and entertainment, and the most uplifting and universal Shabbat celebration observed anywhere in
the world.

Connections 2013 will include a lineup of inspiring keynote speakers, including Professor Irwin
Cotler, Ruth Messinger, David Grossman and Rabbi Rick Jacobs, as
well as amazing musical performances (Ahinoam Nini), festive opening and closing
ceremonies, a Tamar conference and Netzer presence, and the most inspiring Shabbat in the world – all this while allowing opportunities to connect and exchange ideas with one another!

Discussion topics include:

  • How to use the community for social and environmental change
  • The role of the family in Jewish education and Jewish continuity
  • Changing the face of Israel from within – bringing Progressive Judaism to secular Israelis
  • Digital Judaism
  • The Inclusive Synagogue: How open can our tent afford to be?
  • New models of Jewish education
  • Building an Israel-engaged congregation
  • New directions of Tfillah
  • Engaging Youth and Young Adults through Tikkun Olam activities
  • Ethical, legal and social challenges to mitzvoth
  • Advocating for Israel
  • Coexistence; Minorities and everything in between
  • Saving our planet
  • Partnerships for a better world
  • Greening our synagogues
  • Making change through music
  • Teaching a Fish or Giving a Fish: Tzedek or Tzedakah
  • *Refuge to refugees or refuge from refugees- a global dillema
  • Technology as a vehicle for social change
  • Caring communities
  • *Pikuach nefesh
  • Social protests
  • Teaching Tikkun Olam
  • Prayer as a means of tikkun atzmi
  • Zionism as a force for Tikkun
  • * Text studies

For more information, visit the Connections website at:

http://www.wupjconnections.org/