At Central Synagogue

Union For Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial 2017

Posted December 14, 2017

Last week, a delegation of over 20 staff and congregants from Central Synagogue joined over 6,000 Reform Jews at the URJ’s biennial conference in Boston. The URJ’s mission is to strengthen congregations and communities that connect people to Jewish life. Central was well represented with Rabbi Auerbach leading a session on Core Groups, Rabbi Kolin moderating a training on Social Justice, Shani Ben Or reading Torah, and Elana Arian performing her beautiful rendition of Hinei Mah Tov. Additionally, Rabbi Marion Lev-Cohen and Howard Sharfstein presented on thinking Jewishly about end of life conversations and wishes, and our president, Abigail Pogrebin presented on her book, “My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew,” where she chronicles what she learned from traveling to diverse spiritual communities and from interviews with over 50 rabbis representing the spectrum of worship.  Below you can find some reflections from Central staff members.

Valerie Fischer, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director:
“The 2017 URJ Biennial was a rewarding experience and I am so proud to have been part of our robust Central delegation. Each day was bookended by plenaries where we all gathered and heard from inspiring politicians, religious leaders, authors, and notable speakers. During the days, there were dozens of sessions and lectures we could choose to participate in, covering topics in a spectrum of areas of interest. This allowed us the unique opportunity to learn from leaders and innovators, connect and build relationships with colleagues from all over the country, participate in lively debate and moments of quiet introspection. In this format, I was personally compelled to define challenges and consider innovations ways to address them. There were numerous learnings which I will integrate into our administration workflow. But most importantly, I now feel part of a larger national mission which translates into a deeper bond with the Central team and community at home. I am truly grateful to Central Synagogue for including me in our delegation.”

Daniel Nadelmann, Former Director of Development:
“It was wonderful to learn and share best practices in fundraising with hundreds of congregations around the country. Once again, I have experienced some of the most extraordinary Jewish Learning from the movement’s greatest Rabbis, sages, and teachers from Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion (HUCJIR).”