Beutel marks successful tenth anniversary milestone seminar
The WUPJ's Anita Saltz IEC held its 10th annual Beutel Seminar last month. This prestigious seminar is open to active lay leaders in Progressive/Reform/Liberal Jewish communities around the world. In addition to developing leadership skills, it offers them an opportunity to study ancient texts, history, philosophy and Jewish thought, discuss current political and social issues, and explore spiritual pathways within the context of Progressive Judaism.Eighteen participants – each recommended by their home communities – from Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Germany, India, Israel, Poland, Singapore, South Africa and the United States completed the intensive 10 day seminar, returning home with a broad range of new knowledge, insights, connections and experiences, enabling them to provide their communities with a wealth of added value.
10th Beutel Seminar participants, with Rabbi Steve Bernstein, Saltz IEC Director and Prof. Paul Liptz, Saltz IEC Director of Education
Saltz Director Rabbi Steve Burnstein, describes the Beutel Seminar as “an intensive 10 day program, in which participants immerse in an experience of concentrated in-depth study and discussion sessions on a broad range of issues critical to the future of Israel and the Jewish people”. In addition, participants had the opportunity to strengthen their connection to the Land, People and State of Israel in the context of Progressive Jewish values. As one participant remarked, "the Beutel Seminar opened new horizons for me, giving me both a deep sense of spirituality and a wealth of knowledge, understanding and insight regarding Zionism and the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish world.”
Learning about the 1st and 2nd temple periods, with Josh Weinberg
The seminar provides participants with an enriched program, creating a unique spiritual and intellectual experience, additionally enhanced by the tremendous diversity of the participants. The program includes prayer workshops, text study, site visits, and lectures and discussions, as well as mifgash encounters with scholars, activists, and leaders from a variety of organizations who share Progressive Jewish values.
Certainly, the caliber of presenters is a key to the tremendous impact and success of the Beutel Seminar. One of the highlights of the Seminar was the multi-session Morning Prayer workshop overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem with Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman. This was supplemented by other prayer and spirituality experiences led by Rabbis Steve Burnstein, Benjie Gruber and David Wilfond. One participant comments that “the spiritual and liturgical part of the seminar has been excellent… somehow touches our souls.”
Learning with Mike Nitzan at Kibbutz Lotan
At Kibbutz Yahel and Kibbutz Lotan participants met Progressive communities working intensively to define their values and live by them. “This was inspiring, empowering and illuminating . . . [and] brought me an updated understanding of Israeli society and religious life – its complexity, vibrancy and hope for the future.”
Saltz Center Director of Education Professor Paul Liptz – the seminar’s scholar-in-residence – worked together with Saltz IEC Director, Rabbi Steve Burnstein, to create a program that focuses on the connection between what happens in Israel, the World Union, and their own communities. This year’s participants join the ranks of nearly 200 Beutel alumni who are now serving throughout the world in a variety of leadership positions in their congregations, communities and in the WUPJ.
Playing the part during Sally Klein-Katz's session
Rabbi Burnstein and his staff extend their special appreciation to Austin and Nani Beutel for their dedication to and investment in the Jewish leadership. For information on future Anita Saltz IEC programs, please visit the center’sweb site.