SHUTAFIM PARTNERS A Recognition Program for Exemplary Community Partnerships From the Union for Reform
Judaism Synagogue-Federation Relations Committee
What is the
This is an initiative of the Synagogue-Federation Relations
Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism, to
recognize exemplary collaboration between Jewish Federations and their local
synagogue communities. Every two years,
the Committee selects three communities for recognition, one small, one
mid-sized, and one large.
Representatives of those communities are invited to serve as panelists
at a workshop on synagogue-federation relations at the Unions
How are communities
to be recognized selected?
Communities are selected from among those recommended during
an open nominations process. The process
is publicized through various on-line media and through normal publicity
channels to all URJ member congregations and to all Federations through the
Jewish Federations of North America.
Nominations must be made using an on-line form on the URJ website. Communities to be recognized at the Biennial
are selected by a sub-committee consisting of members of the URJ
Synagogue-Federation Relations Committee whose communities are not in
What are the criteria
The Shutafim program is designed to recognize and stimulate
collaborative relationships between Federations and their synagogue
communities. This therefore takes into
consideration not only the ways Federations assist and support synagogues, but
also the ways synagogues and the synagogue community support and collaborate
with the Federation. Since one of the
objectives of the Synagogue-Federation Relations Committee is to foster
collaboration and cooperation between and among synagogues and streams, as well
as with the Federation, special attention is also given to activities and
programs in support of that aspiration.
How do you determine
in what size range a community falls?
The boundary between small and mid-sized, and that between
mid-sized and large, are fluid, at the discretion of the judging
committee. Generally speaking, a small community is one with fewer than
35,000 Jews and five or fewer synagogues (of all streams); a mid-sized
community is one with more than 35,000 and fewer than 100,000 Jews and fifty or
fewer synagogues; and a large community is one with more than 100,000 Jews and
more than fifty synagogues.
Who may enter a
nomination for Shutafim recognition?
Anyone may nominate a community for recognition, but it is
anticipated that most nominations will come from Reform synagogue leaders or
from local Federations.
What is the deadline
Nominations must be submitted on line at www.urj.org/shutafim by
May 31, 2011. Communities to be
recognized will be notified by August 31, 2011, providing enough time for
representatives of those communities to make arrangements to be at the Biennial
to participate in the panel and to be recognized. The 2011 Biennial will be held in the Washington D.C.
area, from December 14-18, 2011.
What is the nature of
The communities being recognized will be listed in the
Biennial Program Book, and will be recognized on Jumbotron screens during
selected plenary sessions of the Biennial.
Certificates will be presented to the winning communities at the
Synagogue-Federation Relations learning session. Efforts will be made to arrange photo
opportunities of the certificate presentation by a top officer of the Union. A
certificate presentation will also be arranged at a Federation board meeting or
other Federation-sponsored event in each community being recognized. The Union
will also issue news releases through its entire publicity distribution list,
with special attention to Anglo-Jewish publications in the selected
What communities have
previously been recognized?
The Shutafim program was inaugurated in 2007, and three
communities were recognized at that years Biennial Convention in San Diego: Rochester NY (small); San Diego CA (mid-sized);
and Washington DC (large).
The program was suspended for 2009.