Biennial 2019

Biennial 2019

Rabbi Jonah Pesner standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial with two other speakers on each side of him

Editor's note: The text that follows was presented before a live audience at the 2019 URJ Biennial.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Hands touching a small globe

Grounded in Jewish values, the Fain Awards are presented to congregations who advocate for and organize around pressing social justice issues, protect vulnerable populations, and engage across lines of difference. We hope that the work of this year's recipients inspires others to move into deeper action.

Sophie Raim
Isaac Herzog standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial

How do we prevent an irreversible rift between the two major communities together with all others – between what I call Jerusalem and Babylon, 7 million Jews in Israel and 7 million Jews in North America?

Isaac Herzog
URJ Biennial podium empty on stage

The resolution does not define what form reparations ought to take. Instead, just like congressional legislation calling for a committee to study and develop proposals for reparations, which the resolution endorses, we consider it our moral duty to “seek an end to ignorance.” 

Elias Rosenfeld standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial

Editor's note: The text that follows was presented before a live audience at the 2019 URJ Biennial on Thursday, Dec. 12.

Elias Rosenfeld
A group of people smiling and clapping in an audience at the URJ Biennial

Whether you want to re-read your favorite addresses from the Biennial or will be experiencing them here for the first time, we're doing our best to get everything online and available to you. Stay tuned all week long as we continue to update this list with links to additionall addresses.

Kate Kaput
People taking a smiling selfie in front of a Biennial backdrop

With the 2019 URJ Biennial in our rear-view mirror, we’re now focused on how we can move this work forward and into our everyday lives. Ready to act? Here's how.

Mark J. Pelavin
People with their arms around one another from the back wearing kippot

We are living in an urgent time. Reform Jewish communities are pursuing justice through the Brit Olam at the local, state/provincial, and federal levels to bring about a world in which all people experience wholeness, justice, and compassion.

Cara Fisher
Rabbi Rick Jacobs addresses the URJ Biennial plenary on stage behind a podium

There are people out there that are looking for the authentic, meaningful experience that we offer, and as long as I have the great honor of leading our movement, we’re not going to walk away from them. Not now, not ever. 

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
  Photo by Andre Chungfor The Washington Post of TaNehisi Coates who wrote The Case for Reparations

Reform Jews and our institutions must start participating in the dialogue around what a just reparations system looks like and calling on our elected officials to do the same.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner