The URJ Biennial, North America's Largest Jewish Gathering, Begins: A Record 6,000 Participants Convene in Boston to Reimagine Jewish Life

Speakers Include Senator Elizabeth Warren, Governor Charlie Baker, Rev. William Barber II, Fran Drescher, Author David Grossman, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Chef Michael Solomonov, NPR's Krista Tippett and Many More

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

December 6, 2017; Boston, MA – The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has gathered a record 6,000 Reform Jewish leaders and congregation members at the 74th URJ North American Biennial General Assembly, taking place December 6-10, 2017 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Reimagining Jewish Life is the theme of Biennial 2017.

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Plenary and worship sessions will be streamed live at 

Registration for the 2017 URJ Biennial is the largest ever, with 6,000 participants from 500 congregations, hailing from 51 states and territories, six Canadian provinces, and 12 additional countries. Clergy, educators, lay leaders, youth leaders, and high school and college students will learn, pray, share ideas, network, celebrate, and make Reform Movement policy.

“This Biennial demonstrates the vitality and vibrancy of the Reform Movement,” said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. “We are proud to be sharing important new data proving the effectiveness of our work. Reform Judaism’s future remains strong because the URJ, our congregations and communities are working daily to create unique new opportunities and networks that connect more individuals to a more meaningful Jewish life. These avenues to commitment will be front and center at the 2017 URJ Biennial, and they will be nothing short of transformative.”

See the full list of Biennial speakers and view the detailed schedule.

Among the highlights of the 2017 Biennial:

  • 150 learning sessions of intensive training for lay and professional leaders led by 400 expert presenters
  • Resolutions adopted by URJ Biennial delegates address social, economic, and humanitarian issues. Topics of the proposed resolutions being deliberated and voted on at the 2017 Biennial include pursuing racial justice, addressing the impacts of climate change, redistricting, school discipline and academic climate, student on student sexual violence in schools, and responding to the global refugee crisis.
  • Inspiring worship, Torah study, and Jewish learning opportunities
  • Exciting plenary sessions with world-renowned speakers, including URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, leading authors, expert practitioners, Israeli and North American opinion leaders
  • Best Jewish music lineup anywhere including 3 dozen leading musicians and groups, and the Biennial choir featuring conference participants
  • A 6,000-person Shabbat celebration
  • An exhibit hall with more than 150 vendors and Jewish organizations


About the Union for Reform Judaism

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.

Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.

Visit us at to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.