The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) will host its Biennial conference in Chicago Dec. 11-15. Sessions will explore Jewish education, gender, and justice in the Jewish community, and mobilizing the Reform movement around Israel.
Among the scheduled featured speakers are Jodi Kantor, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist; Daniel B. Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel; Julie Fisher, Founder and Director of Consortium for Israel and the Asylum Seekers; Sarah Hurwitz, former Michelle Obama speechwriter and author; Michael Arad, 9/11 Memorial architect; and Deborah Lipstadt, historian and author of Anti-Semitism: Here and Now . The Second City will entertain the participants.
"We're thrilled to showcase the power and vibrancy of Jewish life in Chicago as the URJ Biennial presents unprecedented opportunities to study, worship, and celebrate together," said Chair of the URJ Biennial 2019 Alec Harris, a member of Chicago Sinai Congregation.
Sessions are open to the entire Chicago community and Chicagoans are welcome to take full advantage of the Biennial sessions or join for Chicago Shabbat, a full day of Biennial Shabbat programming.
In addition, there will be opportunities for teens and college students to participate, including special programming, unique internships, and offsite trips.
The conference will also include more than 150 artisans, Israel travel operators, and Jewish publishers in the exhibit hall
The Jewish United Fund is a sponsor of the Biennial. The full schedule for the URJ Biennial can be found at URJBiennial.org.