The UPJ's third Jewish music conference, Shir Chadash, was held on 14-16 July at the Geelong Conference Centre, and for the first time, it was a residential conference that allowed participants to be fully immersed in learning, song and Shabbat observance. It was very exciting to live-stream the inspiring Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night (see below). You can view many photos and videos from the conference on the UPJ Facebook Page - and please "like" our page!
We are excited to announce that the UPJ will host Rabbi Gilad Kariv for a visit to Australia in November. Rabbi Kariv, President and CEO of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, has been at the forefront of the efforts to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government to honour its agreement to establish an egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, and to fight against the Conversion Bill that has been proposed by the Shas Party. Rabbi Kariv will speak in Melbourne from 1-4 November, Sydney from 4-9 November and at the Gold Coast during the UPJ Gathering, from 10-12 November; stay tuned for specific dates.
Temple Sinai member Avi Duckor-Jones won the title of New Zealand's first "sole survivor" on Survivor New Zealand. Avi's mum, JoEllen Duckor, who serves as the Mashpiah for Temple Sinai said: "Avi went into the game with the intention of playing with integrity (and making his mother proud)."
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry wrote a letter to express its concern to Senator for Tasmania Lisa Singh, in response to her speech on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which she extolled the Palestinians and dehumanised and degraded the Israelis. Click on "Read More" to read the ECAJ's letter.