New president for World Union for Progressive Judaism

May 18, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) has unanimously approved the selection of Rabbi Sergio Bergman from Argentina as the next president of WUPJ.

Rabbi Sergio Bergman

Rabbi Bergman is a long-time friend of Pope Francis and has been recognised as a global leader on climate change, on par with people such as Sir David Attenborough and New York’s Michael Bloomberg.

He served from 2015-19 as a member of the Argentine Parliament, including as Minister for the Environment in Mauricio Macri’s centre-right cabinet. After he was first elected, he famously skipped the 2014 opening session of Parliament because it took place on Shabbat.

Among his signal achievements was to help found South America’s first Progressive Rabbinic seminary, which, in January 2020, ordained its first Rabbi, Diego Elman, who serves the Mishkan congregation in Buenos Aires.

Rabbi Bergman has two ordinations, one from the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly and another from the Reform movement’s Central Conference of American Rabbis.  He is CEO of Judaica Foundation and president of Argentina Ciudadana Foundation, as well as executive director of Action Network and Community Initiatives for Social Enterprise.

In Australia, the Union for Progressive Judaism Co-Presidents Brian Samuel and David Knoll welcomed the appointment: “The World Union has secured the services of a dynamic leader with a remarkable record of achievement.  We look forward to welcoming Rabbi Bergman to our shores.

The UPJ joins the WUPJ in thanking Ambassador Rabbi David Saperstein for his dedicated work as interim President, and looks forward to welcoming Rabbi Bergman to our region in the near future.”

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