WRJ in Latin America – Meeting

The UJR proudly partnered with the Women of Reform Judaism Midwest District for an amazing program on Jewish Communities of Latin America on Saturday, November 6th. The partnership originated from the Wilkenfeld Seminar, hosted by Women of Reform Judaism a few years ago, attended by Ruth Bohm (in London) and Andrea Kulikovsky and Kelita Cohen (in Jerusalem). We enjoyed getting to know the Latin American team, led by Andrea, Kelita, and Miriam Vasserman. They produced a magnificent Zoom program that was attended and enjoyed by nearly 100 women from the United States, Canada, and Australia. 

Paola Salem and a panel from Judaic Tourism produced a fabulous, informative film about the region. Dr Beatriz Kushnir shared her research on Jewish Prostitution in Latin America. Miriam Vasserman, teamed with Miriam Olchansky and Ruth Bohm, and spoke about the early years of building Reform Judaism in Latin America. Breakout sessions gave the women in the United States an opportunity to speak with Latin American women. These sessions were led by Karin Zingerevitz (Brazil), Gabriela Krichesky (Argentina), Jody Steiger (Costa Rica), Rebeca Orantes (Guatemala), and Maxine Lowy (Chile). Our time together concluded with a very moving Havdalah with the Cantors of Latin America, prefaced by a d’var delivered by Kelita Cohen.

This was the Midwest District’s second program in a series. The first one was on Australia, and the next one will be on South Africa. Kelita Cohen spoke eloquently about the experience of bringing our vision for the program to reality as “building bridges with women around the world.”  We love this summary of the experience we shared. The team of strong, engaging women we have met on this journey will grow as our virtual travels continue . Ken Y’hi Ratzon. Todah Rabah to the Women of Latin America. We are stronger together.

Carol Berger and Judy Lohr-Safcik, co-chairs

Women of Reform Judaism Midwest District