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October 4, 2015 | 21st Tishrei 5776

Contact: Emily Grotta
UAHC Department of Communications

Reform Movement Continues Unprecedented Growth
As Ten Congregations Join the UAHC

Ten congregations were admitted into the Union of American Hebrew Congregations at the June meeting of its Board of Trustees, increasing the number of synagogues affiliated with the Reform Movement to 908. The UAHC, the umbrella organization for Reform synagogues in North America, is in the midst of a period of unprecedented growth, and has admitted twenty-one new congregations over the past 13 months.

"Membership in the UAHC offers boundless opportunities to growing synagogues," said Rabbi Peter Schaktman, Director of the UAHC's Department of Small and New Congregations. "UAHC membership enables these congregations to send their youth to UAHC camps, exposing them to a wider spectrum of Jewish life. It provides them with help and guidance in areas where they need it. And it allows them to become a part of the North American Reform community, where they can exchange ideas with Jewish leaders from across the continent."

The new congregations range in size from under 50 households to nearly 200, and are located in communities from Louisiana to Ontario to Seattle. As part of the largest and fastest-growing Jewish movement in North America, they will have access to innovative UAHC worship programming, the opportunity to explore adult education programs and worship retreats, and the support of UAHC staff members in both their local areas and at Union headquarters in New York.

The ten new congregations are:

  • Am Shalom, Thornhill, Ontario
  • Congregation Betenu, Amherst, NH
  • Beit Ahavah, Florence, MA
  • Bet Alef Meditational Synagogue, Seattle, WA
  • South Metro Jewish Congregation, West Linn, OR
  • The Village Congregation of Pembroke Pines, Pembroke Pines, FL
  • B'nai Dorot, Alpharetta, GA
  • Temple Beth Shalom, Austin, TX
  • Northshore Jewish Congregation, Mandeville, LA
  • Congregation Brith Shalom, State College, PA

Most of these congregations are relatively new synagogues, and have joined the Union in order to receive its guidance and help as they grow. Of the ten new congregations, seven were formed and organized within the last decade.

"Every one of these congregations has a wholly unique approach to Reform Judaism, tied to its community, with its own blend of tradition and modernity," Schaktman said. "Each is a welcome addition to the UAHC."

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The Union of American Hebrew Congregations is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, representing over 1.5 million Reform Jews in over 900 congregations. UAHC services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programming, and the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC..


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