5000 leaders gathered in Orlando, Florida for the URJ Biennial. One cannot imagine the power and impact of a community engaged and gathered for one purpose, to share a common goal and to be together as one. The Biennials of URJ have become the most exciting, inspirational and desired place of Liberal Jews to bond and aspire for renewed leadership and insuring that the world is a better place. When people gather for the purpose of renewal and unity and lift their voices in song and prayer, camaraderie and “CHAVRUTA”, we ascend to higher ground. We touch infinity and divine sparks envelope us in sacredness. These are the feelings I came away with from biennial.
Plenary sessions with speakers of the highest calibre representing the best of our leadership created a buzz, an energy of accomplishment and dreams of a better mended society. Honouring distinguished members who have given of themselves tirelessly and worked to further the cause they believe in, were the high points of the Biennial. Rabbi Danny Freedlander was installed as the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and was awarded the Debbie Friedman Award for his life-long love and labour of Jewish music. Rabbi David Saperstein was honoured and bestowed with the title of Ambassador. His speech was energetic and inspiring as was the presentation of US Vice-President Joe Biden. Above all, the spirit and the power of music throughout the Biennial exceeded everyone’s expectation. Services and song sessions non-stop throughout the day offered an unprecedented variety of artists. But most of all was the quality times we spent with our own members during breakout sessions, services and leisure time.
I urge you to consider participating in the next world biennial in Boston in 2017.