The Jewish community of Neuquén, one of the most important cities in the Patagonia region of Argentina, was visited by Rabbi Diego Elman on behalf of the UJR-AmLat and at the invitation of the Centro Hebraico de Neuquén, a Jewish community born in 1985 that brings together families from the region. In addition to Neuquén, members of the executive committees of the communities of Allen, Cipolletti and General Roca, all nearby towns, were able to be present at this intercommunity event that made possible a primary and fruitful encounter with Reform Judaism, in addition to winning siddurim from the Mishkán community (Buenos Aires), giving the opportunity to get in touch with the Reform liturgy, its philosophy and the inclusive and contemporary approach to Jewish practices.
“The local community wanted to know more deeply what are the foundations and perspectives of our liberal religious vision, what are our practices and traditions. And they could see that they are exactly how they live their Judaism: open, diverse and adaptable to times and circumstances” says Rabbi Elman about his meeting with members of the valletan Jewish communities, who received the rabbi and the possibility of conversation about Reform Judaism with such attention and courtesy.
In addition to the meeting with the Jewish community, Rabbi Elman was received in a meeting with Municipal and Provincial authorities in the Neuquén Legislature and by the municipal undersecretary of religion affairs, this meeting being of great importance and which demonstrates the openness of local authorities to interreligious dialogue and respect for religious differences in the region.
In a note, President Vaniria Mela and Vice President Carlos Maravankin, leaders of the Centro Hebraico de Neuquén, report on the success of this meeting, which has become a true exchange of knowledge and experiences:
“In these meetings we were able to enrich ourselves with the contributions of Rabbi Elman, who, in addition to making a historical analysis of the Reform Movement, explained to us the vision, principles and positions of that movement. The interventions were very well received by the Board of Directors, as well as by civil authorities and the general public, appreciating the clarity, but at the same time the depth of the issues addressed. There was also a moment for the public to ask questions, raise doubts and comments, which was very enriching for all those present. The meetings were absolutely positive and generated enthusiasm among those present to continue deepening or strengthening ties with the Reform Movement.”
The UJR-AmLat extends its sincere gratitude for the reception, enthusiasm and interaction with the vibrant communities of the region and in particular the Centro Hebraico de Neuquén for the reception at its headquarters. May the possibility of a lasting relationship between the institutions flourish, thus continuing and promoting the principles of a modern and inclusive Judaism, creating an environment that welcomes all who seek to explore and embrace our shared heritage.