CHICAGO, IL and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 24, 2014) -  The world's Reform rabbis will convene in Chicago Sunday, March 30, through Wednesday, April 2, 2014, for the 125th Convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). The CCAR is the representative organization of nearly 2,000 Reform rabbis, the world's largest group of Jewish clergy.

Over 570 registrants will gather to consider the future of Jewish life in North America, to gain new skills for engaging with and leading their communities, and to strengthen bonds with young adults and others who might feel disconnected from Jewish life.

"The CCAR Convention is an important and valuable opportunity for leaders of Reform Judaism to envision and pursue ways to reconnect with their communities, and with each other -- and it's also about building new connections," said Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive of the CCAR. "The Convention is about studying together and sharpening professional skills, but it's also about connecting with thought leaders from other fields and other faiths, and strengthening ties with those who feel separated from Jewish life."

"Chicago is an exceptional city for this year's gathering of today's North American Jewish leaders, with a rich Jewish tradition and strong values," continued Rabbi Fox. "The city's academic strengths, cultural importance, and significant history will inspire and inform North America's Reform Rabbinic Leadership as we explore big ideas during the Convention."

Highlights from the Convention will include:

  • Opening remarks from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • Mondelēz Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld speaking about the challenges of navigating the corporate landscape with a Jewish sensibility - Moses, Madoff and Mondelēz
  • "Shave for the Brave" where over 60 rabbis will shave their heads to raise awareness of and funds for pediatric cancer research (Photo opportunity on Tuesday, April 1)
  • Interfaith conversation involving evangelical theologian Jim Wallis on the role of clergy in the elevation of and working for the "common good"
  • Tribute honoring Rabbi David Ellenson, Phd, former President of Hebrew Union College, who just recently retired

The Convention will take place at the Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park Hotel (200 N Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL, 60601), from March 30, to April 2. To attend, and/or to speak with Rabbi Steven A. Fox or other CCAR leaders, please contact Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller of Sommerfield Communications at 212-255-8386 or

About The CCAR
The Central Conference of American Rabbis, founded in 1889, is the oldest and largest rabbinic organization in North America. As the professional organization for Reform Rabbis of North America, the CCAR projects a powerful voice in the religious life of the American and international Jewish communities. Since its establishment, the CCAR has a rich history of giving professional and personal support to Reform rabbis, providing them opportunities for study, professional development and spiritual growth beginning while they are still in seminary, through mid-careers, and into retirement. The CCAR is uniquely positioned to meet the ongoing needs of its nearly 2,000 member rabbis (virtually the entire Reform rabbinate) and the entire Reform Jewish community. For more information please visit the CCAR's website at

Contact Information:

Katarina Wenk-Bodenmiller
Sommerfield Communications, Inc.
(212) 255-8386