Biennial 2017

Biennial 2017

Women laughing as they hold hands and dance around the plenary room during a URJ Biennial song session

When I was a Hillel Rabbi, one of my students referred to the core of my work as “SABSy,” a millennial term built out of the acronym for “See And Be Seen.” 

Rabbi Ilana Schachter
Overhead shot of full plenary hall at URJ Biennial 2017

Learn about the creative ways one congregational leader is bringing the energy and lessons from the Biennial home to her own synagogue community.

Bayla Lovens

Last week, more than 150 teen delegates joined the URJ Biennial to learn, engage, sing, dance, pray, and explore their Jewish identity at the world’s largest gathering of Reform Jews.  They brought energy and excitement to the halls of the Hynes Convention Center, and ensured that we had authentic conversations that created a multigenerational Reform Jewish experience.  Within this delegation, we had more than 85 synagogue youth group board members, 30 regional NFTY officers, and 125 alumni of our URJ Youth programs.  Read on to hear about what this group was seeking when they signed up for this event, and what they are taking away.  Know a teen who attended?  Ask them about their experience and partner with them to bring it home!

Beth Rodin
Press Release

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, delivered a d’var Torah focused on a wide range of important topics about Israel during Shabbat morning worship at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial 2017 convention on December 9, 2017. 

Jewish musician Dan Nichols plays guitar on stage with a line of teens behind him linking arms and a screen depicting the world above them

If you missed it or simply want to relive the experience, here's a roundup of some of the speeches, videos, and other content from the URJ Biennial 2017.

Kate Bigam Kaput
Rabbi Rick Jacobs on stage with the Torah during Shabbat morning services at the URJ Biennial

This d'var Torah for Parashah Vayeishev was presented before the 74th Union for Reform Judaism Biennial convention on Saturday, December 9. 

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Senator Elizabeth Warren wearing a red blazer against a blue background with the Union for Reform Judaism name and logo

It is an honor to fight alongside you, today, tomorrow and every day as we battle to make our government work for all of us. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
April Baskin smiles while standing at a podium

As the Vice President of Audacious Hospitality, I deeply believe that every person should have a community where they feel fully supported and unconditionally accepted. One they can count on to be there for them over the course of their lives. 

April Baskin
Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaking in front of a blue and white Union for Reform Judaism banner

This movement’s task, in this moment, is to nurture the natural waterways that connect us. To keep our congregations the strong sources of life they have always been and will always be.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Hand that appears to be holding up symbols of mens and womens faces

The URJ has announced a series of proactive steps to ensure that sexual harassment and assault do not occur in its workplace or in its congregations and that its leadersare trained and committed to making sure everyone is safe. 

Stefani Jarrett