URJ Biennial

URJ Biennial

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
Photo: MaLea Breland, Congregation Children of Israel, Augusta, GA

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of our 2019 URJ Biennial Photo Contest. We received so many incredible photos depicting the vibrancy and diversity of Reform Jewish congregational life that it was difficult to choose the best.

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
Photo of Scroll #1052 loaned by the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London with representatives of WUPJ, EUPJ, URJ, NFTY and Kutz Camp at the URJ Biennial.
Scroll #1052 loaned by the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London with representatives of WUPJ, EUPJ, URJ, NFTY and Kutz Camp at the URJ Biennial.

A Torah scroll that miraculously survived destruction during the Holocaust and was cherished for decades by generations of North American Reform Jewish youth leaders at URJ Kutz Camp will be returned home as a symbol of the rebirth of Jewish life in Central Europe. Reform Jewish Movement leaders chanted from this remarkable Torah scroll during Shabbat worship services at the URJ Biennial, the largest Jewish gathering in North America, and then the symbolic transfer announcement of this Torah was made.

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