And Now It’s Time for a Biennial Update…
We want to share a few exciting updates about the URJ Biennial, happening December 11-15 in San Diego. Every day, it seems, another key piece falls into place!
- Registration will open in July. Keep an eye out for more information about how to register. Make sure to sign up for updates and start making your travel plans to be with us in beautiful, warm, San Diego in December!
- We are pleased that Jewish Life Television (JLTV) will be the official broadcast partner of the Biennial. JLTV will provide live coverage – broadcasting to 40 million homes on cable and streaming live online– of all our plenary and Shabbat worship sessions. They will also be with us on site in San Diego, operating a special studio at the Convention Center and generating additional programming.
This relationship builds on the experience JLTV has had covering both the AIPAC Policy Conference and the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly. It also builds on a successful partnership with NFTY at their recent convention. We are excited to have them as partners as we work to “open up” the Biennial to more and more people.
- We are excited to announce that Friday night services will be led by the team from Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Massachusetts. This is a shift from previous years, as we have decided to model what a great team looks like instead of pulling clergy together from across the country (though it certainly was difficult to pick just one of our great clergy teams!). Beth Elohim’s leadership includes Rabbi Joel Sisenwine, Rabbi Rachel Saphire, Cantor Jodi Sufrin, and Noah Aronson.
We are also looking forward to Saturday Morning services, which will be led by URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Cantor Angela Buchdahl from Central Synagogue in New York City.
- And, of course, we are confirming new speakers/presenters every day. Among those we will welcome to San Diego are:
- Rabbi Sharon Brous from IKAR in Los Angeles, whom Newsweek recently highlighted as the most influential rabbi in America;
- Rabbi Donniel Hartman, of Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute;
- Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, president of the Wexner Foundation;
- Rabbi Larry Hoffman and Rabbi Sam Joseph, both professors at Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion;
- Choreographer and performer Liz Lerman;
- Allison Fine, author of The Networked Nonprofit; and,
- Literally,hundreds of other remarkable teachers.
- Biennial is, of course, an opportunity to mark milestones and celebrations in our Movement, and San Diego is no exception. We will honor the Women of Reform Judaism on their Centennial Anniversary with a Saturday night program in their honor. We will honor the career of retiring HUC president Rabbi David Ellenson as he teaches during Shabbat morning services. And we’ll also celebrate 60 years of the American Conference of Cantors, 90 years of the Men of Reform Judaism, 125 years of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, 50 years of Mitzvah Corps, and 75 years of NFTY. Whew!
Stay tuned for more updates, and don’t forget to visit the Biennial website to sign up for email updates.