All Business Today at the Biennial

Day 3 was all business. Now that everyone is registered and settled in, attendees are hustling from one session to another. Bob and I made our plans and headed out early. We took in sessions on teen engagement, planned giving, and a plenary session where the URJ Chairman Steve Sacks spoke of strategic plans, changes to dues structure, and growth of new communities, and camps, and programs to promote inclusion, and exciting expansion efforts in Israel. In the plenary session candidates voted on 5 resolutions which will effect URJ social action on topics including: lifting sanctions on Cuba, employment laws related to sick pay, hydraulic fracturing, and even support for Canadian First Nation peoples, and greater ARZA support. You can read these resolutions on the URJ Biennial site. I got up and put forth an amendment to the resolution on fracturing that got fairly strong support but did not pass. It was exciting to be part of the process. It was also coincidental that John Golomb, Rabbi’s younger brother who was in the audience, heard me mention Vassar Temple when I introduced myself, and came up to me when the session was breaking up.

There was also a very interesting, and even entertaining, panel discussion on the Pew Study findings. This study identifies the challenges and opportunities for Judaism, but it does not provide answers and actions that the URJ and Temples need to take. That is why a dialogue is needed. Vassar Temple can benefit by aligning with the vision and programs which the URJ is developing. Bob and I took away some good ideas which we look forward to discussing with the board.

At 4PM we got a break so we can get ready for Shabbat – which should prove to be the highlight of Biennial! But first some entertainment at the Kikar Town Square.

Bob Ritter

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1 Comment

  1. Susan Karnes Hecht

     /  December 13, 2013

    Enjoying your daily reports and looking forward to hearing about new ideas! Safe travel.


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