It’s Not Too Early to Make Your Biennial Travel Plans!



The 2013 URJ Biennial in San Diego will have all the learning, praying, singing, celebrating, and socializing that URJ Biennials have always had – but it will also have a number of new sessions that you won’t want to miss.

Don’t miss the Wednesday afternoon (December 11th) “Intensives.” In response to your feedback that you wanted the opportunity to dive more deeply into a specific topic than past Biennial schedules allowed, we have partnered with some of the most innovative organizations in the Jewish world (and beyond) to offer an unparalleled series of sessions:

  • “The Soul Blossoms: Mussar Texts and Teachings for Personal Growth,” led by Dr. Alan Morinis, founder of the Mussar Institute
  • “Social Media for Synagogues: Community Building and Communications,” featuring Lisa Colton, founder of Darim Online and Chief Learning Officer for See3 Communications
  • “Social Justice Skills and Thrills,” presented by the Religious Action Center
  • Yotzrim Chazon Mechudash: Creating Renewed Vision for Israel and Us,” led by the Shalom Hartman Institute
  • “The Art of Giving Great Service: How Zingerman’s Treats Customers Like Royalty,” led by Zingerman’s co-founding partner and CEO Ari Weinzweig
  • “New Kids on the Block: Youth Engagement in the 21st Century,” presented by leaders of the URJ’s Campaign for Youth Engagement
  • “Scheidt Biennial Institute for Synagogue Presidents” for congregational presidents
  • B’nai Mitzvah Revolution session for BMR-participating congregations
  • Communities of Practice gathering for CoP-participating congregations

What else? Too much to fit in one post!

  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs will speak Thursday night, setting out his vision for the future of the Reform Movement.
  • Forum speakers on Thursday and Friday will include Rabbi Sharon Brous (Ikar, Los Angeles, CA), Knesset Member Ruth Calderon, and Rabbi Donniel Hartman (President, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem).
  • A Jewish music lineup second to none – Josh Nelson, Dan Nichols, Julie Silver, Rick Recht, Billy Jonas, Neshama Carlebach, and dozens of other old and new favorites.
  • Diverse and inspiring worship services led by Rabbi Cantor Angela Buchdahl, Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, Cantor Susan Caro, Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, Cantor Zoe Jacobs, Rabbi Karyn Kedar, and others.

We hope you are as excited as we are for the Biennial. Stay tuned for information regarding registration opening on July 30th.

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Mark Pelavin

About Mark Pelavin

Mark Pelavin is the senior advisor to the president of the Union for Reform Judaism. In that capacity, he plays a key role in developing and refining the Union's priorities and structures for the next generation. He is a member of the Union's Senior Management Team, and oversees the Union's full array of communications. He previously served as the associate director of the Religious Action Center and director of the Commission on Social Action.

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