The URJ is thrilled to announce the 2017 Belin Award winners and honorable mentions. The Belin Awards are designed to encourage and honor congregations of all sizes that have developed uniquely innovative and effective audacious hospitality programs.
The Belin Awards solicit programs and practices that engage and retain members of our congregations. Funded through the generosity of David Belin, z''l, the first chairman of the URJ-CCAR Joint Commission on Outreach, awards of $1,000 each are awarded to up to eight congregations, which are then honored at the 2017 Biennial.
This year, we were very impressed with the application response and enjoyed learning about all the programs taking place in Reform congregations across North America. While we couldn’t give all the congregations awards, we appreciate all the time, audacious hospitality, and effort of all those who applied.
In the coming months, we’ll be highlighting some of the programs in more depth, and the 2017 Biennial will include a learning session titled “Audacious Hospitality in Action,” which will give participants the opportunity to learn about some of the award-winning programs and learn how to replicate them in their own congregations.
Belin Awardees 2017
- Purim Together, Young and Old (Congregation Beth Israel, West Hartford, CT)
- Kindness Counts Bet: Moving Beyond the Gender Boxes, Embracing Transgender and Non-Binary Jews, their Loved Ones and Allies in the Mishkan (Congregation Kol Ami, Elkins Park, PA)
- LGBTQ Inclusion Initiative (Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, N.Y.)
- Inclusion Shabbat Service (Congregation Or Ami, Calabasas, CA)
- REAL Mental Health Initiative (MHI) (Congregation Rodef Sholom, San Rafael, CA)
- Goin’ to the Chuppah (Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX)
- Transgender Support (Temple Israel, West Bloomfield, MI)
- Shabbat Dinner (Touro Synagogue, New Orleans, LA)
Honorable Mentions 2017
- The Tribe (Congregation Beth Emeth, Albany, N.Y.)
- Meeting of the Tribe (Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar, Lancaster, CA)
- TAILGATE SHABBAT (Congregation B'nai Israel, Galveston, TX)
- Inclusion Committee (Judea Reform Congregation, Durham, N.C.)
- How 'Bout Shabbat: Themed Young Family Shabbaton (Temple Beth Am, Miami, FL)
- Shabbat Around the Table, Temple Beth El (San Padro, CA)
- WISE Ones (Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA)
- Shabbat in the Park, The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah (Overland Park, KS)