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Chief Rabbi Goldstein to headline USA conference

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Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein will be headlining this month’s Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) Leadership Conference in College Park, Maryland, in the US. The conference takes place from September 18 - 20.
by Steven Gruzd | Sep 14, 2016

A media release from Maryland, announcing Rabbi Goldstein as the keynote speaker, makes mention of the South African Chief Rabbi’s high standing in world Jewry and the fact that the (now) 47-year-old Rabbi Goldstein, had been only 32 when he became chief rabbi.

“He has since become a popular figure in the country, a widely published author, commentator and staunch defender of Israel in a country whose government has been harshly critical of Israel.

“He also holds a PhD in human rights and international law. Goldstein has been active in promoting Jewish engagement through initiatives such as Generation Sinai and the Shabbos Project.”

The Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (jwrp.org) was founded in 2008 to empower women to change the world through Jewish values. Its major project is “Momentum”, a nine-day, highly subsidised life-changing journey to Israel, experienced by over 8 000 women from 150 partner organisations in 26 countries. Since 2014, the JWRP has partnered with Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

“The JWRP Leadership Conference gathers Jewish women from across the world to hone their leadership skills and create a global Jewish women’s movement. The annual conference was launched in 2013 with 65 participants from the US, Canada and Mexico, and by last year it had grown to include 200 delegates from eight countries.”

This year’s gathering is expected to be the biggest event yet, drawing more than 300 past participants of the Momentum trips from nine nations including Australia, Cuba, Greece, Israel, Panama, Russia, Spain, South Africa and the US.

The Conference will also honour Rachel Fraenkel and Lihi Lapid with the Pamela Claman Leadership Award, in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.

Fraenkel is the mother of Naftali Fraenkel, one of three boys whose kidnapping and murder by Hamas terrorists sparked Israel’s 2014 military operation in Gaza.

Fraenkel has since become a symbol of Jewish unity in Israel. She was a key voice in establishing the Jerusalem Unity Prize in 2015, with the City of Jerusalem, the Gesher organisation, and the families of Gilad Shaer and Eyal Ifrach

Lapid is a noted author and women’s rights advocate. Her best-selling semi-autobiographical novel “Woman of Valour” critically explored the roles of contemporary women and mothers. Her husband, Israeli politician Yair Lapid, chairs the Yesh Atid Party. 

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