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October 13, 2015 | 30th Tishrei 5776
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New Member Congregations

Contact: Donald Cohen-Cutler

Union for Reform Judaism Welcomes Three New Member Congregations during Biennial
Reform Movement Remains Most Diverse in North America

SAN DIEGO—Temple Beth Shira of Boca Raton, FL, Congregation B’nai Emunah of Tarpon Springs, FL and Congregation Bayt Shalom of Greenville, NC were admitted into the Union for Reform Judaism during its 69th Biennial Convention meeting today.

“Being a Union member opens the door to a vibrant, proud and diverse North American Reform Jewish community,” said Rabbi Victor Appell, Small Congregations Specialist in the Department of Synagogue Management. “Union membership offers boundless opportunities to growing synagogues, including the URJ Camps and Israel programs for youth and guidance from local and national professional staff in areas of worship, education and synagogue management.”

Temple Beth Shira becomes the fifth Reform congregation in Boca Raton, where there is a very low synagogue affiliation rate in the Jewish community. A close, warm and caring intergenerational community, Beth Shira is bound together by the concept of Yisrael, the since it was founded in 2003 Temple Beth Shira has continued to grow and now has 125 members and 70 children in religious school.

Congregation B’nai Emmunah, established in 1998, is dedicated to bring Jews closer to God, Klal Yisrael, and the human family, through Torah learning and living.  The congregation strives to uphold and promote the principles of progressive Judaism, as practiced by the Reform Movement. As a congregation its members are dedicated to making B’nai Emmunah truly a “House of Prayer for All Peoples.”

Congregation Bayt Shalom strives to meet the diverse needs of all Jews in this area of Eastern North Carolina. Founded as a Conservative congregation in 1975, the congregation hopes to be affiliated with both the Reform Movement and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. It has 50 members and a small religious school of 16 students.

The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC. Click here for a full list of Union Congregations.



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