CONNECTIONS 2017

Rabbi Joel Oseran

Vice President Emeritus, WUPJ
Rabbi Joel Oseran

Rabbi Joel Oseran

Rabbi Joel D. Oseran is Vice President Emeritus of International Development of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). In 1986 Rabbi Oseran made Aliyah to Israel and joined the staff of the World Union in the organization’s Jerusalem headquarters. A graduate of the University of California – Los Angeles, he received his B.A. degree, cum laude, in History in 1971, and a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern California in 1974. He was ordained rabbi in 1976 from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), New York Campus and received his Doctor of Divinity degree from HUC-JIR, Jerusalem, in 2001. After ordination, Rabbi Oseran served as Director of Student Affairs at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. He returned to the United States in 1981, where he served as Rabbi-Educator at University Synagogue in Los Angeles, California. During his work in Los Angeles, Rabbi Oseran was instrumental in creating the UAHC [today Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)] project for intermarried couples entitled “Times and Seasons.” Rabbi Oseran served as Project Director for the first Progressive Movement School in Jerusalem, Tali Bayit V’Gan, which today numbers over 450 children. As head of the World Union’s international programming, beginning in 1989 Rabbi Oseran helped to establish the Progressive Jewish Movement in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). He has also played a leading role in directing Progressive Judaism’s support for emerging Progressive Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Far East. While on Sabbatical leave from 1997-1998, Rabbi Oseran served as Rabbi for the United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong. In 2016, upon his retirement from the WUPJ, Rabbi Oseran began serving as mentoring rabbi for the first Progressive movement congregation in Rome, Italy – Congregation Beth Hillel. Rabbi Oseran lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Rachelle, three adult sons and their respective families.