Now Open: URJ Biennial Priority Registration is Open!
We’re delighted to let you know that priority registration is now open for the URJ’s 2013 Biennial, which will take place from December 11-15 in sunny San Diego, California. If you’ve attended before, you know that Biennial is the place where the Reform Jewish family comes together and you’ve experienced firsthand the wonderful studying, worshiping, networking, singing, dancing, sharing, growing, and celebrating that happen during North America’s largest Jewish gathering.
This year’s event promises some great new initiatives:
Biennial will begin with a bang on Wednesday afternoon with four-hour “intensives.” These in-depth training and learning courses are designed to give you a tangible take-away to bring back to your congregation or an opportunity to enrich your personal skills and knowledge. If you think about traditional learning sessions as “minors,” these intensives will be “majors.” Arrive on Wednesday by 1 p.m. to take advantage of these great offerings. Sessions will include professionals from the Shalom Hartman Institute, customer service mavens from Zingerman’s Deli, the Mussar Institute, and more.
Kikar Biennial: The Town Square will be the heart of Biennial. This new space – part classroom, part lounge, part information concierge – will provide both a terrific menu of programming options all day (and into the night!) and a comfortable place to relax and schmooze. Designed to be the “Reform Movement’s social hall,” the kikar will have its own schedule of events and workshops throughout the Biennial.
Shabbat at Biennial will take on a whole new look. We will start the morning in intimate gatherings before joining together for worship led by URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and the inspirational Cantor Angela Buchdahl from Central Synagogue in New York. Retiring HUC President Rabbi David Ellenson will be our teacher of Torah, and we also will celebrate WRJ’s 100th anniversary.
The 2013 Biennial will be more “open” in a number of new ways. Registration will be open to anyone – not just to members of Reform synagogues. Registration for the public will open on August 19, but you should register now during our priority registration period for members of URJ congregations. You will find more options to choose from in a variety of formats, and covering a wide array of topics that have been culled from hundreds of proposals. Additionally, the URJ Biennial and WRJ Assembly will be more integrated than ever before, with terrific opportunities to study, worship, learn, network and celebrate together!
Even with these changes, you’ll still recognize many Biennial hallmarks:
The ties of community and friendship will be strong. Biennial remains the largest Jewish gathering in North America-the place to connect with camp friends, get to know fellow congregants better, and meet someone completely new over a cup of coffee or in a session.
We will again offer more than 100 different learning sessions on a range of topics. Learning sessions are the “meat and potatoes” of Biennial, allowing attendees to customize their own experience.
Our Biennial Exhibit Hall – the best shopping this side of Ben Yehuda Street – is back! Wander through aisles and aisles of the Jewish world’s best vendors, selling everything from great books, useful products and services for your congregation, beautiful Judaica, and so much more.
Friday night will continue to be a highlight of Biennial. Kabbalat Shabbat services will be led by the team from Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, MA, followed by the largest Shabbat dinner in the world with more than 4,000 people in attendance! After dinner enjoy the Shabbat Song Session-a Biennial tradition that will include music from both longtime favorites and new talent!
Priority registration for URJ-member congregations is now open. Registration will open to the public on August 19.
The ties of community and friendship will be strong at Biennial. After all, it’s the largest Jewish gathering in North America – the place to connect with camp friends, get to know fellow congregants better, and meet someone completely new over a cup of coffee or in a session. If you are a member of a URJ congregation register now! If not, registration will open on August 19. No matter when you register, please encourage your friends and family members to join you in San Diego for what promises to be a not-to-be-missed event!