CONNECTIONS 2017

Sonja Guentner

Co-Chair, WUPJ CONNECTIONS
Sonja Guetner

Sonja Guentner

Sonja Guentner is currently the Chair of the Union progressiver Juden (UpJ) in Germany. The main focus of her work is the institutional re-establishment of Progressive Judaism in its home country. Under her leadership, the UpJ obtained public charter status in Germany. She is serving in related leadership roles as Vice Chairman of the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), Executive Board Member of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), and WUPJ representative to the UN in Geneva. Prior to her current position, Sonja chaired “Gescher LaMassoret”, the Liberal Jewish community in Cologne, where she promoted education and learning within the Jewish communities, as well as encouraging dialogue with other religions. Professionally, Sonja co-founded and is the Head of School of the Cologne International School, a non-profit private school for 600 students from 43 different countries. It is the first school to have been internationally accredited with an interreligious curriculum, which Sonja has been developing over the past ten years. She lives in Cologne, Germany with her husband and their three greyhounds. By way of continuing her own commitment to lifelong learning, she is going to take up academic studies again at Harvard University after CONNECTIONS 2017.