SCHEDULE & HIGHLIGHTS
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
12:00 PM REGISTRATION OPENS
3:00 - 5:30 PM opening session: CREATIVITY IN TIMES OF CHALLENGE
In a time of rupture and loss, how do we stay connected to our heart, the force of life and our shared sense of humanity? This 90-minute session will bring our community together in a healing space and offer tools to use for connecting with hope, possibility and imagination. We will be joined by Douglas Emhoff, Second Gentleman of the United States.
6:00 - 7:15 PM Communal Shabbat dinner
Build and connect community through a culinary experience that expands our palate on Shabbat dinner. Discover new flavors that represent diverse Jewish communities all over the world. Be inspired to create your own meaningful Shabbat and meal experience in your home community.
7:30 - 9:00 PM Kabbalat Shabbat
D’var Torah delivered by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the URJ.
9:00 - 10:30 PM ONEG SHABBAT & SONG SESSION
Featuring Reform Movement song leaders, artists and musicians.
10:30 PM LATE NIGHT MEET-UPS
Jews of Color Affinity Space, LGBTQ Affinity Space, and Friends of Bill W.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16
(Breakfast on own)
8:00 - 9:00 AM SHABBAT MORNING ACTIVITIES
10:00 am - 12:00 PM SHABBAT MORNING WORSHIP
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:30 - 3:00 pm afternoon Study & Learning
Nurturing Jewish Communities: Embodying a Values-Driven Jewish Future
Reform Judaism’s central values are the moral and ethical imperatives that undergird everything we do. Participants will engage deeply with the value of their choice — Shared Humanity, Justice, Belonging, Learning, Evolving, or Israel and Jewish Peoplehood — through text study and learning (think modern beit midrash), personal reflection, and practice creative thinking around putting our Reform values into action.
3:30 - 5:45 pm Workshops
Participants are invited to select two sessions from a series of workshops designed to help Jewish leaders respond to the war in Israel and global rise in antisemitism. Workshops are an hour long with a 15-minute break at 4:30.
Session with Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism Leaders
Antisemitism and College Campuses
Kulanu: A Project of ADL And URJ Congregations: Come Learn more.
Navigating Interfaith Coalitions
6:00 - 7:30 PM Dinner
At the heart of every celebration are festive foods. Celebrate the URJ at 150 years with a flavorful meal that both invokes the past and invites us to look forward to our next 150 years.
7:30 PM Celebration: CREATING THE JEWISH FUTURE
For a century and a half, North American Reform Judaism has transformed millions of individual lives and impacted history itself. Join our celebration through story and song, as we look back on the personalities and promise that have shaped our past; and look ahead to the vision and imagination that will guide our future in North America, Israel, and around the world.
9:30 PM late night meet-ups
Kol B'Seder 50th Reunion, Jews of Color Affinity Space, LGBTQ Affinity Space, and Friends of Bill W.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17: "THE NExT 50"
(Breakfast on own)
Fifty Years from Now: What’s the future we’ve built? What’s the legacy we are leaving?
9:00 - 10:15 AM GENERAL PLENARY SESSION
Shaping Vibrant Religious Communities in the 21st Century
Sunday will begin with Rabbi Rick Jacobs in conversation with multi-faith leaders from across North America sharing the transformative work they are doing while facing similar realities that we in the Reform Movement face. How have they navigated their work? What does the landscape of opportunities look like? What resonates as you think about the future?
Panelists: Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister and Public Theologian, Middle Church, NYC; Dr. Simran Jeet Singh, Executive Director, Aspen Institute's Religion & Society Program: Nadia Bolz-Weber, Lutheran Pastor, founder of House for All Sinners & Saints in Denver, CO and author.
10:30 AM - 11:30 PM breakout sessionS ROUND 1
We will then move into two rounds of workshops on topics surrounding the overarching theme of building vibrant Jewish communities with a Mindset of Abundance. Learning from the faith leaders in the general session, how do I, in my community, shift the discussion to recognize opportunities as we think about the future? How do we do this while balancing realities that are out of our control?
Vibrant, Diverse Jewish Communities: The Key to Membership and Belonging
How do we engage people, both those within our congregations and communities, and those outside our walls, to create a deeper sense of belonging and more vibrant communities?
What makes us a vibrant community?
What does belonging look like in my community?
Creating a Pipeline to Community: Leaning into Joy and Spirituality
How do we realize the potential for growth in our community when the realities are sometimes daunting?
How do we look at the landscape of opportunities with a mindset of abundance and not scarcity?
How do we engage new individuals?
How do we cultivate a more diverse Jewish community?
What are new communities we could be building and supporting?
What are different ways of gathering we need to experiment with (I.e. online)?
Workshops may include: tools/skills, URJ resources, as well as opportunity for networking with other participants and leaders.
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM LUNCH (GRAB & GO)
12:15 - 1:15 PM breakout sessionS ROUND 2
See sessions above for description.
1:30 - 3:00 PM CLOSING GENERAL SESSION
Thinking about "The Next 50" in the Current Climate
The events of the Fall of 2023 (and indeed, of the past few years since the global pandemic) have reinforced for us the need for a Reform Jewish community. We also need to keep looking forward to the future to grow, deepen engagement, and keep our vision of peace and wholeness, justice and equity, and belonging and joy in sharp focus. How do we do this in the face of epic challenges, in North America, Israel, and abroad? How, in this moment, do we lean into a mindset of abundance and cultivate relationships, and foster constructive discourse that help move us into the future?
Panelists: Rabbi Galit Cohen-Kedem, Rabbi and Community Leader, Kehilat Kodesh Vechol – Holon, Israel; Rabbi Esther Lederman, Vice President, Leaders in Action, URJ; Rabbi Jonathan Roos, Senior Rabbi, Temple Sinai – Washington, DC; Evan Traylor, Rabbinical Student, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Moderated by Amy Asin, Vice President, Congregational Engagement and Leadership Experiences, URJ
Closing and Call For Action: What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?
At the end of the day (and our celebration) we will consider a for a call tfor action. We will also share a musical send off that will be both empowering and inspirational.
ISRAEL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT @ the 150th celebration
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17
7:30 - 9:00 PM EVENING OF SOLIDARITY
Join MK Gilad Kariv, Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza, and leaders of the URJ for an evening of solidarity with the people of Israel.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 18
9:00 AM-2:00 PM ISRAEL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
Join leaders from across the Jewish world as we explore how to effective respond to and lead through the crises facing Israel and the Jewish community. Our day will include a general session featuring leadership of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), two workshop blocks that will provide you with the tools you need to lead in this moment, and a closing session.
A kosher-style lunch will be provided.