WUPJ Shabbat Around the World: December 2020

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) “Shabbat around the World” was launched in Milan in October 2020 on Shabbat Bereishit, as we began reading the Torah cycle once again. Each week – usually on Friday nights – WUPJ invites its global membership to “visit” one of its 1200 affiliates and celebrate Shabbat with that local community. 

With seven regions around the world, destinations until now have been as far-flung as Melbourne and Cape Town and the EU capital of Brussels. We have also spent Shabbat with our communities in Minsk, Belarus and in Misgav, Israel where we heard beautiful home-made melodies from the Galilee region. In the aftermath of the US elections we visited Ann Arbor in Michigan, one of the hotly contested states, and shared in their reactions to the results. Our first planned visit to Latin America was to Porto Alegre, Brazil, although unfortunately we were disrupted by zoom-bombers and we hope to be able to return soon. Even online it is a sad fact of life that Jewish communities need to maintain security procedures.

In the next month we are looking forward to visiting Brazil again (25th December), and the CIP community in Sao Paulo. In January we plan Jerusalem and Kiev, Johannebsurg, London and Guatemala. Full details are available each week at http://wupj.org/shabbat and we would be delighted to have more participation from around the world. The time-zone differences mean we sometimes get to celebrate Shabbat at weird and wonderful times, but it’s a pleasure to meet and learn from each community that hosts us each week. 

The calendar is already planned until June 2020, but if you would like to offer your community to host a future WUPJ “Shabbat Around the World”, or even to suggest another community that you would like us to visit, please get in touch with me by email: rabbi.alfred@wupj.org.il

Rabbi Nathan Alfred

WUPJ Head of International Development & Community Building