Here's Who's Speaking at the 2019 URJ Biennial

Inside Leadership

Here's Who's Speaking at the 2019 URJ Biennial

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At each URJ Biennial, we welcome the highest caliber of speakers from within the Jewish community and beyond. Learn more about the people we'll be honoring at the 2019 URJ Biennial with three prestigious awards - then continue on for a list of our featured speakers, to be updated as the list continues to grow.

The Tri-Faith Initiative (Omaha, NE)
Maurice N. Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award

The Tri-Faith Initiative is a unique and ambitious project in the field of interfaith relations in design, scale, and scope that brings together into permanent residency a synagogue, church, mosque, and interfaith center on one 38-acre campus in the middle of America’s heartland.

By its very model, it challenges people of faith and goodwill to be conscious and proactive about the assets of faith in civil life in a religiously pluralistic society. The Tri-Faith Initiative aims to create a more inclusive culture in which religious pluralism is socially normative. 

Julie Fisher & Ambassador Dan Shapiro 
Alexander M. Schindler Award for Service to World Jewry

For the past eight years, Julie Fisher has taken a personal interest in the conversation about the safety, care, and education of the children of African asylum seekers in South Tel Aviv and has worked with NGOs and other partners to improve conditions in schools and childcare facilities through fundraisers and hands-on repair projects. In 2018, she created the Consortium for Israel and the Asylum Seekers in order to bring attention to the issue of supporting the African asylum-seeking community in Israel.

Daniel B. Shapiro was named Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) in March 2017, following a a diverse career of over 20 years in senior foreign policy and national security positions in the United States government including United States Ambassador to Israel, a position he held from July 2011 until the end of the Obama Administration. ​

Cantor Barbara Ostfeld
Debbie Friedman Award for Contributions to Jewish Music​

At age 22, Barbara Ostfeld became the first woman ordained as a cantor. Now that Barbara is 66, the female Reform cantorate is 336 women strong! Barbara served for 27 years as cantor of congregations in Clifton, N.J., in Great Neck, Rochester, and Buffalo, N.Y., and then for 10 more years as the placement director of the American Conference of Cantors.

Check out the complete list of featured presenters, including Israeli activist Anat Hoffman, author Marra Gad, journalist AJ Jacobs, and more - then register today to join us at the 2019 URJ Biennial. 

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Published: 9/09/2019

Categories: Conferences & Events

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