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RJ Youth Worker of the Month January

Contact: Donald Cohen-Cutler

Amy Gavel of St. Paul, MN Named “Youth Worker of the Month”
North American Recognition for her Dedication to Twin Cities’ Jewish Youth

NEW YORK – January 3, 2007 – Amy Gavel of Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul, MN has been named January’s “Youth Worker of the Month” by the Union for Reform Judaism.

“Being considered for this award by my peers and friends is a wonderful honor,” said Amy.

Amy has served as the director of Teen and Young Adult Activities as Mt. Zion Congregation in St. Paul for two years and has worked in informal Jewish education for nearly two decades. Even through law school and becoming a member of the Minnesota Bar, she has remained dedicated to providing a warm and safe Jewish environment for her teens and young adults.

When asked about her favorite aspect of working with youth in her community, Amy said, “You know that feeling when it’s been raining off and on all day, and you haven’t really thought anything of it, and then you look up and there is a rainbow in the sky? My favorite thing about working with youth is they are just like that. My favorite thing is the youth themselves.”

Beth Avner, NFTY regional advisor for the Chicago and Northern Regions, said “Amy's dedication to building strong communities of teens provides these same teens with significant connections to each other and to Judaism.”

The “Youth Worker of the Month” recognizes the talent, dedication, and commitment of outstanding youth workers. Each “Youth Worker of the Month” recipient is nominated by a supervisor or peer and is featured for a month on The recipient also receives a book complements of the URJ Press and a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble.

Additionally award winners will be recognized during the URJ Youth Worker's Conference from February 16-20, 2007 in Philadelphia, PA. The YWC draws more than 200 of North America’s best youth workers together every other year. Focusing on informal education in the synagogue, the YWC will center on the teaching of ethics and morality to a modern teenager.

Recognizing the differences in the role of a youth worker from congregation to congregation, the Union for Reform Judaism has created RJyouthworker as an interactive website to provide resources and support for Reform Jewish youth workers around the world. With message boards, programs and professional development opportunities, RJyouthworker is designed to address the needs of the diverse field of Jewish youth workers in the Reform Movement.

For more information, please go to

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, D.C.


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