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About CONNECTIONS

What is the World Union for Progressive Judaism?

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), founded in London in 1926, is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist Movements, serving over 1,100 congregations with 1.8 million members in more than 49 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 conference is an inspirational event – full of spirit, learning, sharing, and fun – where Reform, Progressive and Liberal Jews from around the world come to connect with each other and help shape the future of their Movements.

Who can attend CONNECTIONS 2017? Who will I meet there?

All who have an interest in Progressive, Reform, Liberal, Reconstructionist Judaism are welcome to take part, whether or not they are affiliated with a World Union congregation. You will meet like-minded people – religious and lay leaders from across the world.

Are accommodations made for delegates with disabilities?

Some facilities can accommodate individuals with disabilities. To help us serve you better please check the appropriate box on the registration form and a CONNECTIONS 2017 representative will contact you to discuss individual arrangements.

How should I dress for CONNECTIONS?

Attire for all sessions is casual. Shabbat and the closing ceremony and gala reception are slightly more formal.

Will the food be kosher?

All meals served are kosher-style. Beit Shmuel has kashrut of Rabbanut Mateh Yehuda. This means that meat and dairy will not be served together at the same meal and pig and shellfish will not be served at all during the conference. Fish and vegetarian options will be available. Other dietary requirements can be requested on your registration form.

About registration

How do I register?

For online registration click here.

What is the deadline to register?

The early bird discount deadline is January 15, 2017. After that, full price registration is open up until the beginning of the conference.

What is the cancellation policy? What if I need to change my plans? Can I cancel part of my attendance?

REGISTRATION:
All cancellations must be faxed, e-mailed or post-marked by April 15, 2017.
Refund in full, less $60 handling fee, for cancellations received prior to March 15, 2017.
Refund is 50% of the booking amount, less $60 handling fee, for cancellations received prior to April 15, 2017.
There is NO refund for cancellations after April 15, 2017.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
$50 fee for cancelling a hotel reservation once booked.
Refund in full, less 1 night’s fee, if hotel reservation is canceled within 30 days of arrival.
No refunds if reservation is cancelled within 14 days of arrival.

TOURING:
Pre or Post tours can be canceled without a fee until 60 days prior to the tour.
Within 60 to 30 days prior there is a $30 fee for canceled tours.
No refund for tours cancelled less than 30 days prior to the tour.

Can I bring my partner/ spouse/ friend? Is there a parallel program? Will they pay the full fee?

Everyone is welcome. All CONNECTIONS 2017 participants must complete separate registration forms. There is no reduced fee for spouses or partners. There is no separate convention program for spouses or partners, as our conferences are family events.

How do I register for the site visits?

During CONNECTIONS 2017, all tours are included in the registration fee. To learn more and sign up for the special pre- and post-conference tours, click here.

I am traveling independently, not with a group or mission. Do I register first or make hotel arrangements first?

You are encouraged to book a hotel from one of our arranged group reservations through the CONNECTIONS 2017 registration form. You are also welcome to make alternative arrangements once you have registered to confirm the duration of your stay in Jerusalem.

How do we register as a group?

CONNECTIONS 2017 registration is per individual. Each attendee must fill out a separate online or paper registration (upon request) form.

About ACCOMMODATIONS

How do I book my travel arrangements for CONNECTIONS 2017? Is there a travel provider or do I make my own arrangements?

CONNECTIONS 2017 is proud to partner with Ayelet Tours, Ltd. for registration, travel, and accommodations. Registration is only available through the CONNECTIONS 2017 website or a paper form (provided upon request). If you choose to stay in an official CONNECTIONS 2017 hotel, you may also book that on the registration page. Ayelet will also work with you to book travel to Israel if you choose to use them as your booking agent.

You are welcome to book your own travel and accommodations. Please note: Booking flights, even if booked through Ayelet Tours, does NOT mean your registration is complete. You MUST register through the registration form for CONNECTIONS 2017 to ensure that your conference registration is confirmed.

Do I need any special visas for Israel? Are there any passport regulations?

Please visit the website of your local Israeli embassy or consulate to learn more about B2 tourist visas. Holders of American and Canadian passports do not require a special visa before arrival to Israel. For more information, click here.

What will the accommodation be like?

Click below to visit the various hotels we offer for CONNECTIONS.

Beit Shmuel
Inbal Hotel
Prima Hotel

Where can I stay during the conference?

Group reservations have been arranged through Ayelet Tours at the Inbal and Prima Royale Hotels in Jerusalem.

Can I request a friend to share a hotel room?

If you wish to share a room with someone, please be sure to indicate that in the appropriate place on the registration form. Rooms can be reserved for two people, but a separate CONNECTIONS 2017 registration must be made for each individual.

What will the weather be like in Jerusalem in May?

Springtime in Jerusalem means plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Please check the weather as the conference dates approach.

What about safety and security in Jerusalem?

Like many big cities around the world, visitors are always encouraged to be sensible. We will be traveling in groups during the conference and we encourage you to travel in small groups during free time.

Are there any cultural events taking place in Jerusalem before or after CONNECTIONS 2017?

Click here for events in Jerusalem.

Is there ground transportation between venues of the convention?

All transportation to venues during the convention is provided for and included in the registration fee. Transportation to and from the airport is not included. Individual and shared taxis to Jerusalem are available at Ben Gurion airport, which is in Lod, just south of Tel Aviv. You can also arrange ground transfers, as well as VIP travel services, through Ayelet Tours during the registration process. For further details on transfer options click here.

Is insurance available?

We strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance, including trip cancellation and luggage insurance. While the World Union does not endorse or recommend any particular plan, you may visit the Ayelet Tours Ltd. Travel Insurance Page for some resources by clicking here.

About the Conference Schedule

Who will be speaking or performing at the conference?

Click here to see the current list of speakers and presenters for CONNECTIONS 2017. These are subject to change without notice as circumstances may require.

What are the dates for the program?

The opening ceremony is on the evening of Wednesday, May 17. The closing gala event is on the evening of Saturday, May 20.

What are the dates of the optional programs before and after CONNECTIONS 2017?

There are pre- and post-conference trips and seminars. Click on each program below for further details:
May 03-15| Israel Arts with ARZA Canada
May 11-15 | CCAR & WUPJ Trip to Poland for Clergy and Lay Leaders
May 13-17 | WUPJ Saltz Center Legal Professionals Seminar/Professional Development
May 16-17 | Rabbinic Kallah Seminar
May 16-17 | WUPJ Saltz Center – Israel Religious Action Center Religion and State Issues Seminar
May 15-16 | WUPJ Management Committee Meeting
May 15-17 | TaMaR & Young Adult/Leader Seminar
May 16-17 | WUPJ Executive Board Meeting
May 17 | WUPJ International Assembly
May 17-20 | WUPJ CONNECTIONS International Conference
May 21 | WUPJ Executive Board Meeting
May 21 | Optional Tikkun Olam Project
May 21-29 | Women of Reform Judaism Israel Tour

How will we spend Shabbat?

We will be spending time with our local congregations and communities in Israel; details will be provided as the conference nears.

Will there be any free time during the conference?

We are excited to offer a full schedule for CONNECTIONS 2017 that combines scheduled programs, workshops and tours with many opportunities for meeting and connecting with new and old friends. Thursday evening will be a free evening in Jerusalem with a late-night program following dinner. We also recommend arriving in Israel before CONNECTIONS 2017 or staying after to explore and tour Israel.

About Pricing and Payment

What is the registration fee? What does it include? What does it NOT include?

Adult Participant
Early bird $650 (Until Jan. 15, 2017)
Regular $800 (After Jan. 15, 2017)
Young Adult Participant (up to age 30)
Early bird $250 (Until Jan. 15, 2017)
Regular $400 (After Jan. 15, 2017)

INCLUDED IN REGISTRATION FEE
Participation in the Opening Ceremony and Reception, all sessions and materials, name tag credentials, convention visits and activities, Closing Ceremony & Gala Reception, all transportation during the convention, lunch and dinner every day (except Thursday night). Please note that Shabbat (Friday) dinner will be home hospitality & is the only dinner option that evening. There are no partial refunds for meals not taken or events/days skipped.

NOT INCLUDED IN REGISTRATION FEE:
Travel to, from, and within Israel, airport taxes, airport transfers, VIP assistance at the airport, passport and visa fees, border taxes when applicable, hotel accommodations, breakfasts, dinner on Thursday night, items not part of the standard group meals and breaks, personal expenses (i.e. laundry, valet service, cables, telephone calls, postage, etc.), tips to drivers, guides, tour escorts, and other services not indicated elsewhere in the CONNECTIONS 2017 materials.
Participation in the Opening Ceremony and Reception, all sessions and materials, name tag credentials, convention visits and activities, Closing Ceremony & Gala Reception, all transportation during the convention, lunch and dinner every day (except Thursday night). Please note that Shabbat (Friday) dinner will be home hospitality & is the only dinner option
that evening. There are no partial refunds for meals not taken or events/days skipped.

NOT INCLUDED IN REGISTRATION FEE:
Travel to, from, and within Israel, airport taxes, airport transfers, VIP assistance at the airport, passport and visa fees, border taxes when applicable, hotel accommodations, breakfasts, dinner on Thursday night, items not part of the standard group meals and breaks, personal expenses (i.e. laundry, valet service, cables, telephone calls, postage, etc.), tips to drivers, guides, tour escorts, and other services not indicated elsewhere in the CONNECTIONS 2017 materials.

What is the exchange rate for the New Israeli Shekel (NIS)? What is the best way to get local currency?

Check here for the latest exchange rates for your national currency. There are ATMs throughout Israel where you can withdraw Israeli shekels from your foreign bank account at the prevailing exchange rates. We suggest that you use your credit cards for shopping and in restaurants.

Given the fluctuation in currency rates, are hotel rates and convention fees guaranteed not to change?

We strongly advise all participants to register early and to reserve their hotel accommodations as soon as possible in order to guarantee these posted rates, as well as availability at the hotel of your choice. Dramatic economic changes later in this year or the next that affect the travel industry may impact these rates.