After the intensive session on Weds, we attended an ARZA wine and chocolate reception. Jeff and I took the ‘divide and conquer’ approach. He drank the wine and I ate the chocolate. Actually, he ate chocolate too! We then met up for a quick dinner with Toronto cousins (father and daughter) who are now rabbis in California and Massachusetts respectively. It was a quick dinner in Gaslamp, as we had to rush back for the opening Plenary Session.
Highlights of the Plenary session for me were the presentation of the Alexander M. Schindler award to Rabbi David Hartman z”l, which was accepted by his son Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the update by Gilad Kariv, Director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism about the successes of the Reform movement in Israel.
In addition, an award was presented to Jay Feinberg, the founder and CEO of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. As a result of Feinberg’s efforts, within the Jewish community there is a much greater chance a bone marrow match will be made due to the over 230,000 people registered in over 40 countries. After the plenary session, hundreds of delegates between 18 and 60 joined the national bone marrow registry by simply doing 4 cheek swabs with giant Q-tips. It’s the least we could do!