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May 24, 2015 | 6th Sivan 5775
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Belin Outreach & Membership Awards

Belin Awards Belin Outreach and Membership Awards have been designed to encourage and honor Reform synagogues with innovative outreach or membership programs. Funded through the generosity of David Belin, z''l, the first chairman of the URJ-CCAR Joint Commission on Outreach and Membership, $1,000 will be awarded for up to  8 congregation at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial in Orlando, FL, November, 2015. Other outstanding programs may be considered for an honorable mention.

The Belin Outreach and Membership Awards are presented to congregations that have developed programs to actively welcome and integrate those new to Judaism, created relationship based membership engagement models, or developed new, innovative ways to engage and retain members of our congregations, all of which are the essence of Audacious Hospitality.

Application for the 2015 Belin Outreach and Membership Awards is now open, through May 21st. APPLY NOW, or visit the Application Process or FAQ sections below for more information.

Potential Award Categories

  • Interfaith couples and families
  • Individuals exploring conversion to Judaism
  • Post conversion support
  • Congregational membership program (recruitment, integration or retention)
  • Engaging families with young children
  • Engaging empty nesters/baby boomers
  • Engaging young adults, 20s or30s
  • Engaging LGBTQ

Application process

1.      Fill out the 2015 Belin Awards application form with information about your program by May 21st, 2015. In order to submit your application you will need to submit:

a.      Program Name, Description and Contact Information

b.      Programmatic Follow up, Evaluation and Fee Information

c.       Programmatic Materials- attach photos, handouts, flyers, etc.

2.      You will receive automatic confirmation that your application has been accepted- We will contact you if we need additional information, so make sure your contact person's number is included in the application.

3.      The Belin Award Selection Committee will meet to select the winners and award honorable mentions

4.      Applicants will be notified of the committee's decision in early June 2015

5.      Belin Award Winners and Honorable Mentions will be honored at the 2015 URJ Biennial in Orlando, FL



1. How many applications do you receive each year and how many receive awards?

The amount varies from year to year, but each year we receive a myriad of exceptional programs and present up to 8 congregations with a $1,000 award. Every year, there are also additional programs that deserve recognition, and the committee often chooses to grant them honorable mention.

2. Why should my congregation apply for a Belin Outreach and Membership Award?

Strengthening Congregations and Audacious Hospitality are key priorities of the URJ 2020 Vision and the Belin Outreach and Membership Award is a clear manifestation of those values. The URJ hopes to recognize and honor congregations who are doing exceptional work in these areas, to support your ongoing success and to raise up your program as a model to other communities. Winning programs will serve as a resource for other URJ congregations and will advance this important work throughout our movement. In addition:

  • Belin Outreach and Membership Award winners receive $1,000 in recognition of their innovative and exceptional program.
  • Awards winners, including those receiving an honorable mention, will be recognized at the upcoming URJ Biennial.

Additionally, all award winning programs will be shared in The Tent, so other congregations can learn from your experience.

3. Who is the Belin Award Selection Committee comprised of?

The Belin Award Selection Committee is comprised of lay leaders, clergy, members of the URJ Board of trustees, and URJ staff from across North America, who have extensive experience in the area of membership, outreach, and engagement.

4. Who from my congregation should apply for the Belin Award on our behalf?

Typically, we receive applications from the program director, if applicable, or a lay leader or staff member, who has a deep understanding of the program, often the Outreach or Membership chair. Because we promote the award winning programs through various URJ communications vehicles, it is important that the contact person listed is able to field questions from the other communities who may be interested in learning from you.

5. This is so exciting! How do I apply?

Fill out the 2015 Belin Awards application form by our deadline- May 21st, 2015!

Please contact Jessica Ingram ( with any other questions.


Outreach and Membership Idea Book Volume IVThe winning programs of 2011 are featured in the Outreach and Membership Idea Book Volume IV.

Previous winning programs are available in these other URJ Press publications:


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