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May 26, 2015 | 8th Sivan 5775

2009 Epstein Communicate Award Recipients

Epstein Communicate Awards and Honorable Mentions were presented at the 2009 North American Biennial Convention.

Epstein Communicate! Awards were presented for the following programs:

Annual Report Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ (Category: Congregations with more than 750 households)
Temple Emanu-El created a beautiful and thorough brochure as an annual report of how their money is spent.  Congregants now have a visual understanding of where their financial commitments and fund raising dollars go.  This brochure has also proven to be an effective marketing tool, as prospective members can tell at a glance all the great goings-on at Temple Emanu-El.
Summary number 2602 

Bylaws Treasure Hunt Temple Sinai of Sharon, Sharon, MA (Category: Congregations with 250-750 households)
After recognizing that few board members actually read the congregation's bylaws, Temple Sinai of Sharon created a successful Bylaws Treasure Hunt that is played at each Board Orientation/Training session.  Board members not only have fun searching for the answers, but they also work as a team to learn the synagogue's bylaws.
Resources: 2009 Bylaws Hunt clues; 2008 Bylaws Hunt clues; Summary number 2643

Small Congregation Affiliates with Large Congregation and Keeps Its Identity(Category: Congregations with fewer than 250 households)
Congregation Beth Ahavah, the thirty-three year old small but free-standing GLBTQ congregation in Center City Philadelphia, learned it was to lose the lease of its space - a storefront which had been its home for the last fifteen years.  A nearby synagogue, Congregation Rodeph Shalom, invited Congregation Beth Ahavah to use its space and eventually an affiliation agreement was reached and has been successful in the eyes of both congregations.
Resources: affiliation agreement; Summary number 2583
Congregation Beth Ahavah at Rodeph Shalom, Philadelphia, PA

Senior Rabbi Selection Criteria Discussion Beth Emet the Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL (Category: Member of National Association of Temple Administrators)
Faced with the need to select a new senior rabbi for only the second time in its sixty-year history, Beth Emet, The Free Synagogue, created a "Senior Rabbi Selection Committee", which sought to engage and involve the congregation and collect congregants' input about their hopes and dreams for the next senior rabbi.
Resources: draft criteria circulated to the congregants; facilitation guide; Summary number 2636

Foreign Food and Film Festival Temple Beth Ami, Rockville, MD (Category: Member of National Association of Temple Educators; Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism; or Program Directors of Reform Judaism)
Three times a year following an early Shabbat service, Temple Beth Ami extends their successful Spirit of Shabbat program by holding a Foreign Food and Film Festival.  During the Festival, congregants take a virtual journey to a foreign country; they enjoy that country's cuisine and learn about the country through engaging presentations and documentaries.
Summary number 2618

Honorable Mentions were presented for the following programs:

Auction and Deflation Dinner Temple Israel, Columbus, OH
The result of five months of planning, Temple Israel's Auction and Deflation Dinner was a great success.  Congregants donated their "good stuff that never made it to eBay" for the auction and gift certificates from local business were also solicited.  Congregants were then invited to join the event, including dinner, wine and music, for just $18! One Temple Israel member pointed out, "This is the largest turnout for a social event since the High Holy Days!"
Summary number 2620

Changing the World Together One Block at a Time Temple Judea Mizpah, Skokie, IL
Temple Judea Mizpah's Religious and Social Action Commission, rabbi and Education Director worked with the Executive Director of the Good News Community Kitchen, a community organization, to teach their Jewish and at-large community that they can help themselves as well as others.
Resources:  photos in the local paper; publicity flier; Summary number 2633

Connecting Generations Temple Israel, Omaha, NE
Just as the Torah has been passed on from generation to generation, so should our personal narratives.  Temple Israel entrusted this great responsibility to both the elders in their congregational community and the middle and high school students.  Students were trained in interviewing skills and proceeded to interview the elders' stories and record them for preservation in the archives of the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society.
Summary number 2571

Three Faiths Day Monmouth Reform Temple, Trinton Falls, NJ
What do you get when a rabbi, a minister and an imam ride on a bus together? You get a rare opportunity to join together three different religions and their spiritual leaders in one day to compare and contrast, and learn and demystify one another's faiths. Monmouth Reform Temple was the lead Jewish organization participating in a Tri-Faith Day of Cooperation in Monmouth County, NJ.
Resources:; Summary number 2641

WHARFF Expo Temple Beth Ami, Rockville, MD
In response to the community need for quality, non biased education relative to the issues one faces either when preparing to retire, is already in retirement or is caring for an aging and/or ill family member, Temple Beth Ami put together a day long multi-faceted education Expo to address these issues - the Wellness, Heath, Aging, Retirement and Financial Freedom Expo.
Resources: video highlights; sample presenter packet; sample exhibitor packet; sample budget; detailed timeline; track and session listing; promotional pieces; Expo program; Summary number 2590

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