Leading roles for UK Progressive rabbis at World Union conference

Charley Baginsky, Jonathan Wittenberg and Deborah Blausten will be among those participating in Connections 2021


Rabbis from Britain’s Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements will have leading roles at the world’s biggest Progressive Jewish conference next month, addressing delegates from more than 50 countries at the major online event.

The theme of the World Union for Progressive Judaism’s Connections 2021 will be “Facing our Jewish future together”.

Highlights will include the installation of new WUPJ president Rabbi Sergio Bergman, an appearance by Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the first Reform rabbi to be elected to the Knesset, and a keynote address from Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid.

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Charley Baginsky — who will participate in a discussion on the future of movement Judaism — said WUPJ was “a vital part of Progressive Judaism in the UK, providing us with a connection to our sibling movements around the world, who all face the same opportunities and obstacles as we do.

“Connections 2021 will allow us to learn from each other, using our many voices to build our global Jewish future and family together.”

Also at the conference, Rabbi Deborah Blausten from Finchley Reform Synagogue will chair a discussion with past and present WUPJ presidents and rabbis Jonathan Wittenberg and Tanya Sakhnovich — prominent voices on environmental issues and EcoSynagogue steering group members — will take part in a keynote panel session on climate change and sustainability.

Leo Baeck College principal Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris will be involved in a forum on how to train the Progressive rabbis of the future.

Founded in 1926, WUPJ represents 1.2 million Jews across six continents and 1,200 congregations.

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