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Reform Synagogues Honored for Outreach to Interfaith Families at UAHC Biennial
Featuring Winning Programs Available from UAHC Press
7)--Twenty-two Reform synagogues were honored today for outstanding programs to
welcome interfaith couples and Jews-by-choice at the UAHCs Biennial Convention
meeting here. The programs are featured in Reform Jewish Outreach:
The 2002 Idea Book, a new manual published by the UAHC Press.
Ten of the congregations
received the Belin Outreach Award, which carries a $1,000 prize, while 12
congregations were recognized with honorable mentions. The Belin Awards are
given by the Joint Commission on Reform Jewish Outreach and are funded through
the generosity of the late David Belin, the first chairman of the commission.
The programs are judged on their effectiveness, creativity, and whether they can
be easily replicated by other synagogues.
"David was steadfast in his
belief that Judaism's future depends on our ability to reach out to interfaith
couples and welcome them into our synagogues," said Dru Greenwood, director of
the Commission. "These awards show that congregations across the continent are
creatively and effectively doing that."
The Reform Movement's commitment
to outreach is traced to December 1978, when the late Rabbi Alexander M.
Schindler, president of the UAHC from 1973-96, called upon the Board of Trustees
to establish a commission to address the needs of individuals converting to
Judaism, intermarried couples, children of intermarried parents, and those
interested in learning about Judaism. Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, who succeeded
Schindler as UAHC president in 1996, has continued the Union's strong commitment
Congregations that will
receive the $1,000 Belin Outreach Award, and the programs which they
Temple Emanuel of Tempe,
Tempe, AZ From Generation to Generation: Interfaith Responsa and Above and
Beyond New Beginnings. In the first program, the temple bulletin is used
as a vehicle for readers to pose provocative questions on Outreach in a responsa
format; in the second, a series of field trips and workshops expand the
experiences and knowledge of new Jews-by-choice far beyond synagogue
Congregation Emeth, Gilroy,
CA A Highly Integrated Year-Round Outreach Program for Small Congregations,
an opportunity for participants to discover or re-discover Judaism in eight
Sunday morning sessions.
Temple Israel of Hollywood,
Los Angeles, CA Celebrations! A Parents' Guide to the Jewish Holidays, an
easy-to-use notebook offering guidance to Jewish and non-Jewish parents seeking
to incorporate Jewish celebration and practice in their homes
Temple Adat Shalom, Poway,
CA Three Holiday Workshops from Fall Through Spring; a series of creative and
accessible ways for families to mark Passover, Sukkot, and Tu
Temple Micah, Washington,
DC Non-Jewish Spouses' Discussion Group with the Rabbi, which invites
non-Jewish interfaith partners to meet at the rabbi's home and discuss all
B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim,
Glenview, IL Outreach Shabbat Dinner and Service, an interactive meal in
which panelists discuss their Jewish journeys and time is set aside for a
question-and-answer session during the oneg.
Temple Israel and United
Hebrew Congregation, St. Louis, MO Introduction to Judaism II: Doorways to
Judaism, an eight-week curriculum that includes study of prayer, ritual, and
tradition, and how to integrate them into daily life.
Temple Beth El, Las Cruces,
NM Pleasant Aftertastes: Variations on a Theme, a follow-up to the UAHC's A
Taste of Judaism course.
Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA Conversion as Life-Cycle Event, an
innovative curriculum for fifth and sixth graders.
Beth El Hebrew
Congregation, Alexandria, VA Conversion Seminar and Havdalah Service, in
which a festive dinner is followed by an overview of the conversion process and
tips on family issues.
The congregations which
received an honorable mention award are:
Congregation Beth Am, Los
Altos Hills, CA
Temple Ahavat Shalom,
Temple Sinai, Oakland,
United Jewish Center,
Temple Kol Emeth, Marietta,
Temple Israel, West
Temple Shalom, Aberdeen,
Temple Beth Tikvah, Wayne,
Congregation Oheb Sholom,
Temple Emanu-El, Dallas,
Temple Beth-El, San
Copies of The 2000 Idea Book
are $15.00 each. To order, visit the call the UAHC Press Web site
or call toll free at (888) 489-UAHC. Previous years' idea books are also
available from the UAHC Press.
The UAHC Press is the publishing arm of the Union of
American Hebrew Congregations, the central body of Reform Judaism in North
America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in 888 synagogues. UAHC services
include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and
intermarried Jews and educational programs.