Weekly News & Drash: 1/2 July 2022


Weekly News & Drash 1/2 July 2022

 UPJ Biennial Conference 2022 - register today!

The enthusiastic response to Rabbi Sergio Bergman's two-week visit to Australia in March when he spoke on behalf of the UIA Progressive Appeal prompted the UPJ to ask him to return for the Biennial on
17-20 November, providing an even wider reach for his inspiring messages. 
As WUPJ President,
Rabbi Bergman leads the international network of Reform, Liberal, Progressive, and Reconstructionist Jewish movements, serving 1.2 million members in more than 1,250 congregations in over 50 countries. 

Rabbi Bergman served as Argentina’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainability from 2015-19, and in 2017 headed the Argentine delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Summit, overseeing the
G20 Sustainability Working Group tasked with building climate change for developing nations. 

Early-bird registration for Biennial is now open: CLICK HERE


UPJ congregations' online services and programs
Providing ways to celebrate Shabbat online is a unique response offered by the Progressive Movement, and something of which we can all be proud. To view a listing of virtual Shabbat and daily minyan services, online courses, and a diverse range of interesting and innovative programs, CLICK HERE.  



Mazon Australia seeks volunteers for Soup Bags
Winter has arrived, and it's soup season! During June, July and August, Mazon will be distributing Soup Bags full of fresh ingredients and a recipe to make a delicious soup. If you are part of an organisation that would like to help with packing the bags (in Melbourne) or if you know of clients who would appreciate receiving a bag, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to contact Mazon. You can also make a tax-deductible donation on Mazon's website: CLICK HERE.


Shabbat Spirituality and Lunch in the Gold Coast
Are you interested in learning about Kabbalah and Jewish spirituality? Join Dr. Rabbi Orna Triguboff, Kabbalah and Meditation teacher for a light lunch and seminar on 16 July at 12.00-1.30pm. Book here and once you've booked the address will be emailed to you: https://www.trybooking.com/CARUJ 


Drash on Parashat Korach  

Rabbi Dr Orna Triguboff
Founder/principal facilitator of Neshama Life
Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra, NSW

Power play and dissent
In this week’s Torah reading, Korach the Levite leads a rebellion against Moses and Aharon during the 40-year wandering of the Children of Israel, on their way to the Holy Land. Korach questions Moses’ justification for holding the position of leader of the Children of Israel saying, “Why do you exalt yourself over the assembly of God?” 

Moses responds to Korach by pointing out that he and his tribe have a holy position themselves and states: "You have enough sons of Levi ... Is it too little for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the community of Israel to bring you near to Him, to serve the serving tasks of the Dwelling of God, to stand before the community … would you seek priesthood as well?" (Num.16:7-10).

The discussion between Moses and Korach is an invitation for each of us to consider our goals in terms of leadership and responsibility and how we can move towards a level of leadership that works for us. As we move through life, things change and each year we can reassess these questions.

This is an excerpt from Rabbi Dr Triguboff's drash; to read the full drash on the UPJ website, CLICK HERE.

      David Knoll AM         Brian Samuel OAM


I was asked to speak over a decade ago at a conference organised by “Working NSW”.  My topic was Jewish values and work-family balance.  Moses was of course the first successful workers’ advocate.

God communicated his will through Moses because Moses had demonstrated a passion for human justice in three essential ways.  Before Moses met God at the burning bush there were three important episodes. 

The first was when he saw an Egyptian hitting a Jewish slave. Moses intervened. He did not stand aside or stay silent when the strong abused the weak. He stood up for a beaten Jew despite the advantage he could have continued to enjoy by hiding his Jewish identity as he had done until that incident occurred. 

The very next day he saw two Jews fighting and separated them and persuaded them to continue in peace. 

Not long after that he saw Jethro’s daughters near a well being bullied by some shepherd. They were being bullied and prevented from obtaining water for their flock. Moses drove the bullies away so that the daughters of Jethro could take water from the well. 

These three incidents demonstrated to God that Moses was committed to justice between Jew and non-Jew, between Jew and Jew and between non-Jew and non-Jew. He chose to act rightly regardless of who benefited, and he acted as a Jew, when hiding his Jewish identity could have brought him advantage. He did not keep schtum. He did not shy away.

Moses became the leader of the Jewish people not because he had a passion for Jewish survival. He had that in spades. Moses became the leader of the Jewish people because he understood that the Jew must be committed to justice and dignity for every human being.

How we as Jewish communities engage both internally and externally, we can but aim to follow Moses example. Unlike much of pre-WWII Jewry we cannot longer keep schtum; keep our heads down. We live with a freedom that allows us to build community, in which we can act when the strong abuse the weak, when we can persuade two Jews fighting to continue in peace and where all of us can enjoy the water from the well.

                                                                                               Warm regards, David

 The UPJ welcomes Rabbi Givental to NSTE
During its Shabbat service last week, North Shore Temple Emanuel farewelled Rabbi Misha Clebaner (who is returning to the USA after three years of service to the congregation) and welcomed Rabbi Moshe Givental as its Assistant Rabbi and Director of Meah. The UPJ adds its warm welcome to our newest member of the Assembly of Rabbis and Cantors (ARC) - may your holy work at NSTE be fruitful and meaningful!


 May his memory be for a blessing: Ken Arkwright OAM z"l

With great sadness, the UPJ mourns the passing of Ken Arkwright OAM z"l, husband of Judith Arkwright.
Ken, a long-time and dedicated supporter of Temple David in Perth and Progressive Judaism throughout our region,
published his Holocaust memoir "Beyond Survival" in 2018;
he received the UPJ's Vatik Award in 2004.
We send our heartfelt condolences to his entire family for long life, sustained by loving memories.



Subscribe to our news updates

Keep up to date with our latest news and events. Subscribe to receive the UPJ Weekly News & Drash.

Find a Congregation Near You

Find a jewish congregation near you Jewish Community of Japan Kehilat Shanghai Kehillat Beijing United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong Thailand Progressive Jewish Community United Hebrew Congregation Kehilot Brit Beracha (Indonesia) Rodef Shalom Jewish Religious Union (Mumbai) Temple David Congregation Beit Shalom Synagogue Progressive Congregation of the ACT Jewish Community Tasmanian Union for Progressive Judaism Dunedin Jewish Congregation Beth Shalom Temple Sinai Congregations in Victoria Congregations in NSW Congregations in QLD