Reform Movement Biennial Opens With Mogel, Sharansky

Event Marks Major Transition for URJ

By Forward Staff

Published December 14, 2011.
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Best-selling author Wendy Mogel and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky will be among the speakers at tonight’s opening plenary of the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial conference. The gathering, which runs through Sunday, will also feature keynote addresses by President Barack Obama, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

The event marks a major transition for the URJ, which is set to install its new president, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the longtime spiritual leader of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, N.Y. Outgoing President Rabbi Eric Yoffie is retiring after 16 years at the helm of the Reform movement’s congregational arm; Yoffie recently sat down with the Forward to discuss his tenure at the URJ, and that exit interview can be read here.

Speeches by Obama, Cantor, Barak, as well as those by Yoffie and Jacobs, can be watched on the video player below. A schedule of those webcasts can be found here.


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