The Union for Reform Judaism recognizes that each synagogue is at a different point as it journeys to become a Congregation of Learners. The Nachshon Awards were developed to honor synagogues in the process of transformation. These awards will be given to individual congregations in 2009 for one new and innovative program or project that demonstrates a congregational commitment to endow all of its activities with a distinctive quality of learning and may include (but is not limited to):
A series of teacher-training sessions that enable members to teach in the congregations religious school.
An intergenerational learning experience that will be expanded to reach ever-larger segments of the congregational membership.
A new congregational Mission Statement that envisions a strong dedication to lifelong Jewish learning.
A reinvigorated Lifelong Jewish Learning Committee that helps the congregation to focus on creating a culture of learning.
Nachshon Awards applicants will be judged mainly on how the submitted program or project moves the congregation toward the goal of becoming a Congregation of Learners. Award Criteria*
Making new meaning of pre-existing Jewish knowledge and practice.
Expanding involvement and interest in Jewish learning.
Connecting Jewish values and the students daily life.
Developing an appreciation for traditional Jewish practices.
Transmitting meaning to others. (Serving as role models for others.)
Increasing connections to the Jewish community.
*Adapted from The Impact of Adult Jewish Learning in Todays Jewish Community by Lisa D. Grant and Diane Tickton Schuster.
The application process for 2009 is now closed.
Nachshon Awards recipients will receive a certificate at the 2009 Biennial.