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December 20, 2014 | 28th Kislev 5775
010322

Contact: Emily Grotta
UAHC Department of Communications
212.650.4221
uahc@uahc.org

Reform Movement to Host
Small Congregations Conference in
Colorado Springs, April 20-22

The breathtaking majesty of the Rocky Mountains will serve as a backdrop to a weekend of Jewish learning and study this spring, as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations holds its Small Congregations Conference in Colorado Springs from April 20-22.

The conference, to be held at the Antlers Adam's Mark Hotel, is designed for rabbis and lay leaders who serve Reform synagogues with fewer than 250 members. Participants will have the chance to meet Reform Movement leaders, including UAHC President Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, in a warm, intimate setting, participate in workshops on topics of vital concern to small congregations, and share ideas and solutions with other leaders.

"Small congregations face unique challenges - yet often, they succeed in ways that larger congregations don't," says Rabbi Peter Schaktman, Director of the UAHC's Department of Small and New Congregations. "Their smaller sizes allow their members feel an intimacy, a sense of community, and a shared commitment. This conference is intended to celebrate these qualities, and help leaders of small congregations enhance them."

"We're delighted to hold this conference in Colorado, the home of a large number or our smaller congregations," Schaktman added.

Workshops will be taught by a faculty including some of the top Jewish professionals, rabbis, and lay leaders within the Reform Movement. Covering a variety of the aspects of congregational life, workshop topics will include:

  • How to Get a Social Action Committee Started
  • Involving Parents in the Jewish Learning of their Children
  • The Role of the Non-Jew in Small Congregations
  • Organizing a Volunteer Choir
  • Creating an Active, Jewishly Committed Board

On Friday evening and Saturday, leaders of small congregations will participate in a special Shabbat experience, raising their voices as part of a unique music program, studying together at Torah study breakfasts, and worshipping at a special Shabbat morning service featuring a sermon by Rabbi Yoffie.

Those arriving early can participate in a series of special pre-convention programs, including rehearsals for a special Small Congregations Conference Choir, a crash course in Hebrew reading, an intensive class on membership development, and a bus trip to the breathtaking Garden of the Gods park.

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The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of the Reform Movement in North America, and unites 1.5 million Reform Jews in over 900 synagogues in the United States and Canada. UAHC services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC.

 
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