Kabbala Shabbat Z1


May 17 – 20, 2017 / JERUSALEM, ISRAEL


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

More than 400 delegates from more than twenty-five countries come together to celebrate the strength of our global movement.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Evening

CONNECTIONS opens with a ceremony that symbolizes the global reach of our Jewish family, the framework that connects us. Hear from leaders of our movement, as well as politicians, and enjoy musical entertainment. Witness the presentation of a Torah Scroll from Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf, Los Angeles, USA to Kehillat Sheket, Minsk, Belarus.


Israel-in-Action Site Visits

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


Departing directly from the Kotel immediately following Shacharit, buses will stop for an overview of the city’s growth before heading out for tours and site visits of programs, leaders and congregations from the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). Experience first-hand how our Reform Movement is seeking to put Progressive Jewish values in action to create a more pluralistic, just, and benevolent Israeli society.


Kabbalat Shabbat

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


Friday, May 19 | Evening

This year, CONNECTIONS 2017 will host Friday night Shabbat services in the heart of Jerusalem – at the First Train Station, Tahana Rishona, 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.


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