Announcing the 2013 Epstein Communicate Award Recipients!
Communicate is the online resource bank of over 2,600 programs and ideas that has been created exclusively for URJ congregations and their members. Every two years, summaries in several categories are selected to receive an Epstein Award recognizing those congregations' outstanding programming. Award recipients receive a $1,000 programming grant, presented at the URJ North American Biennial Convention, taking place this year in San Diego, December 11-15.
Epstein Communicate Awards will be presented for the following programs:
Adat Chaverim, Plano, TX (Teen Engagement Program; small congregation)
This integrated program was built on "Al Sh'loshah D'varim," and focuses on the three principles, Torah, avodah andg'milut chasadim. Students participate in various activities and opportunities for scholarship, accruing the 18 credits needed to be part of the bagrut (graduation) ceremony, which, innovatively, occurs in twelfth grade and coincides with the students' graduation from secular high school.
Resources: comprehensive "Welcome to B'nai Torah" guide; Summary
Temple B'nai Torah, Wantagh, NY (Teen Engagement Program; mid-size congregation)
To inspire post-b'nei mitzvah students to remain engaged in congregational life and school, Temple B'nai Torah developed Madrichim Program. At the end of
sixth grade, students are asked if they'd like to join the program, in which they'll have the opportunity to serve as role models for younger children.
Madrichim mature, gain confidence and take ownership of the program's success and remain engaged in life at Temple B'nai Torah.
Summary number: 2714
Connecting with Our Haitian Community Members
Temple Beth El, Boca Raton, FL (Teen Engagement Program; large congregation)
Using the lens of the Holocaust, teen students engaged with the Miami Haitian community in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. On the occasion of Yom
HaShoah, the teens acknowledged the tragedy of the Holocaust and the earthquake, meeting with local Haitian artists and teens, as well as Holocaust
survivors, to compare and contrast the two experiences.
Summary number: 2700
Emanu-El in the Neighborhood
Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, CA (Outstanding Program; any size, any topic)
This caring community program provides opportunities for congregants to meet, talk, eat and more face-to-face, allowing them to build interpersonal
relationships. Emanu-El in the Neighborhood also empowers congregants to organize community-based activities that create and sustain
congregant-to-congregant social and caring relationships. Neighborhood Liaisons welcome new members and help them transition from new members to fully
Resources: bulletin, Neighborhood Liaison manual; Summary number: 2727
Share Our Past-Shape Our Future + Time of Our Lives
Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Seattle, WA (Outstanding Program; any size, any topic)
Temple De Hirsch Sinai created two excellent videos that both show their vibrant community. "Share Our Past-Shape Our Future," produced to show donors the
depth of the congregation's programming, won two National Telly Awards for Excellence in Videography. The second video, "Time of Our Lives," reaches out to
and welcomes new and prospective members, and thanks donors for their support.
Resources: watch "Share Our Past-Shape Our Future" and "Time of Our Lives"; Summary number: 2724
Honorable Mention Certificates will be presented for the following achievements: