Erev Shabbat Service: World Union Shabbat
In celebration of our kinship with Reform Jews around the world, Beth Am is honored to welcome Rabbi Roberto Graetz and rabbinical student Cantor Hernán Rustein, from the Buenos-Aires-based IberoAmerican Institute for Reform Rabbinical Education, which trains rabbis and educators from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The Institute is a project of the World Union for Progressive Judaism – Latin America, a branch of the umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.8 million members in more than 50 countries.
After the service, enjoy discussion with our speakers and a delicious dinner prepared by the Poltava Committee. Please sign up for the dinner by Tuesday, December 3. All proceeds from the dinner will support the IberoAmerican Institute for Reform Rabbinical Education.
*This service will be live video streamed. By entering the Sanctuary, you give Beth Am permission to record you.
A native of Argentina, Rabbi Roberto D. Graetz has a long history of service to the Jewish community. After ordination from HUC-JIR in 1972 he worked in South America for twenty years, at Congregation Emanu-El in Buenos Aires, and as Senior Rabbi of the Associacao Religiosa Israelita (ARI), Rio de Janeiro’s largest Reform congregation. In Argentina during the Dirty War, Rabbi Graetz was one of the founders of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights; in Rio de Janeiro he was active in the Street Children Movement and interfaith dialogue. In 1991, he returned to the United States to become Senior Rabbi at Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, where he was deeply involved in interfaith and social justice work.
Since he retired from his position at Temple Isaiah in 2016, Rabbi Graetz volunteers his time in small communities in Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Mexico and guides the work of the new Reform Rabbinical Institute serving the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, based in Argentina.
Cantor Hernán Rustein was born in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has been an advanced rabbinical student in the IberoAmerican Institute for Reform Rabbinical Educations since 2012. He teaches and performs rabbinical roles leading synagogue services and officiating in the life cycle events of congregations both locally and abroad. He has represented the Latin American Reform movement, officiating weddings in Paraguay, Chile and Colombia.
In 2018, Hernán was selected by the U.S. Union for Reform Judaism for a "Klal Yisrael Fellowship", becoming the first South American to participate in the seminaries that this scholarship provides, traveling to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Berlin and New York.
Hernán also has a BA in Government and International Relations, university studies of philosophy and a major in chemistry. He is happily married to Angélica María Tobón Rendón.