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(MINNEAPOLIS, November 5) - Ten Reform congregations were honored today for their innovative and effective programs to actively welcome and integrate
interfaith couples and those new to Judaism into their synagogues at the Union of American Hebrew Congregations' 67th Biennial Convention in Minneapolis,
MN. These congregations received the Belin Outreach Awards, presented every two years by the UAHC-CCAR Commission on Outreach and Synagogue Community.
The Belin Awards, established in 1995, are funded through the generosity of the late David Belin, z''l, the first chairman of the Commission. The programs
were judged on their effectiveness, creativity, and the ease with which other synagogues can replicate them. Each Belin Award-winning congregation received
a grant for $1,000. An additional 10 congregations were awarded honorable mentions.
All winners and honorable mentions will have their programs reprinted in Reform Jewish Outreach: The 2004 Idea Book, a publication of the UAHC Press that
is used by more than 900 Reform synagogues throughout North America.
"This year's honorees have done an amazing job of fulfilling the mitzvah of keruv - bringing near those who are far," said Dru Greenwood, director of the
Commission. "Thanks to their efforts, families have been able to find a new home in Judaism, and have been welcomed into their new communities with open
Congregations that received the $1,000 Belin Outreach Award, and the programs they established, are:
The congregations which received an honorable mention award, and the programs for which they were honored, are:Temple Beth Tikvah, Fullerton, CA: Starting Outreach Programming Step-by-Step;Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA: Outreach on the Web; Oak Park Temple, Oak Park, IL:All in the Family: Jewish Diversity; Temple Oheb Shalom, Baltimore, MD: Downtown Shabbat Service;Temple Shalom, Chevy Chase, MD: Overtures: An Interfaith Family Jewish Learning Experience;Temple Beth El, Charlotte, NC: Merkin Interfaith Institute; Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, Franklin Lakes, NJ:Making the Case for Outreach; Congregation Gates of Heaven, Schenectady, NY: Kaddosh Kids;Temple Sholom, Broomall, PA: Bellies and Babies; Temple Brith Achim, King of Prussia, PA: Cooking and Celebrating.