27 May 2019
A number of Liberal Judaism and Reform Judaism rabbis from the UK attended the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ) Shabbaton and European Rabbinic Assembly (ERA) Kallah in Rome.
The ERA is chaired by Rabbi Dr René Pfertzel, who represented Liberal Judaism along with Rabbis Dr Andrew Goldstein, Janet Darley and Mark Solomon. Others in attendance included The Liberal Jewish Synagogue’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Alexandra Wright, and Rabbi Jackie Tabick of West Central Liberal Synagogue who is the head of the EUPJ Beit Din.
The Shabbaton was held at Beth Hillel Rome to coincide with the community’s 5th anniversary. Delegates from 10 different countries took part, including 24 rabbis.
A Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service and dinner, led by Beth Hillel Rome’s Rabbi Joel Oseran, had 110 in attendance, with the Saturday morning service attracting 130. René delivered a stirring and meaningful D’rasha during the service, where the founders of Beth Hillel Rome – the Italian capital’s first ever Progressive Jewish community – were honoured.
Sunday saw a tour of Italy’s Jewish and Renaissance historical sites. In the evening there was an anniversary gala attended by more than 100 people including Carol Sterling, chair of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, and other key figures in Progressive Judaism from around the world.
The ERA Kallah took place on the Sunday and Monday. The Rabbinic gathering started with a short historical, cultural and religious profile of Italian Jewry, before many deliberations on the important issues facing Progressive Judaism and its rabbinate in Europe.
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