May 17 – 20, 2017 / JERUSALEM, ISRAEL

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CONNECTIONS 2017 is an international conference hosted by the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). CONNECTIONS offers opportunities to learn, explore and engage in the diversity of our Progressive Jewish world. This year’s focus, Milestones & Innovation, honors 200 years of Progressive Jewish history while exploring innovation in Jewish life and its impact on the future of our Jewish peoplehood.




Opening Ceremony

Delegates from more than twenty countries come together to celebrate the strength of our global movement.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Evening

Symbolizing the global reach and strength of our Jewish family, CONNECTIONS 2017 opening ceremony welcomes delegates from more than twenty countries with greetings from our leadership and musical entertainment. Catch up with old friends, and meet new ones, over light reception. 


Milestones & Innovations

Thursday site visits highlight obstacles and achievements of Reform Judaism in Israel.


Spend Thursday participating in site visits that commemorate the milestones and innovations that comprise the growth of Reform Judaism in Israel and inform our global peoplehood.

Specially-designed with active learning components and small-group workshops, the experience will open eyes to regional differences across our movement, and the role of Diaspora Jewry in Israel.



Welcome Shabbat from the heart of Jerusalem’s newest tourist and cultural center – the historic First Station.


Friday, May 19 | Evening

This year, CONNECTIONS 2017 will host Friday night Shabbat services in the heart of Jerusalem – at the First Station, Jerusalem’s newest tourist cultural pedestrian center. Join us for Kabbalat Shabbat led by Israeli rabbis from Jerusalem-area Reform congregations. Then, after the sun has set over Jerusalem, depart to meet with Progressive Jews in home hospitality arrangements.


Shabbat Walking Tours

Spend Saturday afternoon out and about, gaining a new perspective and appreciation for Jerusalem.


Fall in love with Jerusalem all over again with one of our CONNECTIONS walking tours. Whether you have been to the Old City before or this is your first foray into its ancient alleyways, experience it anew this Shabbat.


Monday, May 15

- TaMaR & Young Adult International Conference & Leadership Seminar
- Registration & Information Desk
- Management Committee Meeting & Dinner (by invitation only)

Tuesday, May 16

- IRAC Religion & State Seminar
- TaMaR & Young Adult International Conference & Leadership Seminar
- Management Committee Meeting & Lunch (by invitation only)
- Registration & Information Desk
- Student-Clergy Seminar
- Executive Board Meeting & Dinner (by invitation only)
- Rabbinic DOMIM Kallah

Wednesday, May 17

- IRAC Religion & State Seminar
- Rabbinic DOMIM Kallah
- TaMaR & Young Adult International Conference & Leadership Seminar
- Executive Board Meeting & Lunch (by invitation only)
- Registration & Information Desk
- Artistic Program
- International Assembly
- Opening Ceremony, CONNECTIONS 2017

Thursday, May 18

- Shacharit Services at the Kotel
- Israel-in-Action Site Visits Depart from Kotel
- Plenary Session: Reform Judaism & Reform Zionism
- Breakout Sessions: Reform Judaism & Reform Zionism
- Free Time & Dinner On Your Own
- Sanctity Will Be Renewed Event
- Musical Evening Celebration

Friday, May 19

- Shacharit Services
- Plenary Session: Building Communities & Nurturing Leaders
- Breakout Sessions: Building Communities & Nurturing Leaders
- Special Interest Lunches & Regional Meetings
- Plenary Session: Inspiring the Next Generation
- Breakout Sessions: Inspiring the Next Generation
- Kabbalat Shabbat at The First Station, Jerusalem
- Shabbat Dinner with IMPJ Congregants

Saturday, May 20

- Beit Midrash Study
- Shabbat Morning Worship Services
- Shabbat Kiddush Lunch
- Shabbat Afternoon Activities
- Closing Reception, Closing Reception & Havdalah

Sunday, May 21

- Management Committee Meeting (by invitation only)


MP Michał Stasinski

MP Michał Stasiński (Poland)

MP Michał Stasiński (Poland)

Reform Judaism & Reform Zionism | Progressive Jewish Voices in Politics and Government | Panel Presenter

Thursday May 18, 17:00 – 18:30

Nir Barkin

Rabbi Nir Barkin (Israel)

Rabbi Nir Barkin (Israel)

Building Communities & Nurturing Leaders | Workshop Presenter

Friday May 19 | 10:15 – 11:45

Arseny Nikitenko

Arseny Nikitenko (Belarus)

Arseny Nikitenko (Belarus)

Inspiring the Next Generation | Training Today’s Rabbinic Students for Tomorrow’s Congregations |Panel Presenter

Friday, May 19 | 14:00 – 15:30

Raul C. Gottlieb

Raul C. Gottlieb (Brazil)

Raul C. Gottlieb (Brazil)

Building Communities & Nurturing Leaders |  Progressive Judaism & the Orthodox Establishment | Panel Presenter

Friday, May 19 | 10:15- 11:45

Joel McCarroll

Joel McCarroll (Australia)

Joel McCarroll (Australia)

Inspiring the Next Generation| Building a Global Youth Movement for the 21st Century | Think Tank Presenter

Friday, May 19 | 14:00 – 15:30