Shooting in Kansas
As we prepare for the Passover holiday we are all shocked by the news of attacks on two Jewish communal institutions in Kansas yesterday afternoon. We offer our prayers on behalf of those who have died and those who have been affected by trauma and loss. We are especially horrified by the anti-Semitic attack in our country in the days leading up to both Easter and Passover. read more...
Israel Programming Grants Available
The Israel Committee of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is excited to announce the sixth year of our Ma'alot grant program aimed at involving kehillot in the process of deepening their connection with Israel. The purpose of the grants is to expose members of the USCJ community to opportunities that promote Israel education, engagement and advocacy. Grants of up to $2,500 are available; applications are due by April 17.
You Can Count On It!
Download your 5774 Omer counter here.
Christian and Jewish Leaders Achieve Breakthrough
The heads of Jewish and Christian organizations and denominations met in an unprecedented summit in New York City on March 27 to discuss strategies to strengthen and maintain relationships even in the face of significant disagreements. read more...
USY's 2013 Social Action Tikun Olam vice-president was profiled as a JTA Teen Hero. Read more about this remarkable young leader.
Schechter Network Receives Grants
Signaling a bright future for Conservative day school education, the Schechter Day School Network and United Synagogue have just been awarded nearly $2 million in grants that will allow the day school network to dramatically enhance its ability to strengthen North America’s 43 Schechter schools. The grants include nearly $1.7 million in funding from the Avi Chai Foundation for capacity building and programming, and a substantial challenge grant from an anonymous foundation. read more...
Ruderman Prize in Disability
We wish a mazal tov and yashar koach to Congregation B'nai Amoona (St. Louis, Missouri) on being honored with the Ruderman Family Foundation Prize in Disability. Rabbi Steve Wernick said, "Through innovative leadership, problem solving and a deep commitment to inclusivity, Rabbi Carnie Rose and his kehilla created a synagogue that can serve as a role model for others who wish to be similarly welcoming," stated Rabbi Steven C. Wernick. "The mitzvah of hachnasat orchim is high on the agenda of United Synagogue; in the 21st Century this means creating a physical and spiritual environment where all are welcome. We are so delighted to have been a catalyst for Rabbi Rose in the creation of his unique community. Mazel Tov to Rabbi Rose and B'nai Amoona on this honor and a big thank you to the Ruderman Family Foundation for placing the issue of inclusivity high on the agenda of the Jewish community."
New Dues Models
Synagogues are coming up with different ways to approach the question of dues - the Washington Jewish Week covers these questions and approaches, with input from USCJ's Barry Mael.
A Note from USCJ on the KOACH Program
As you may have read, the board of United Synagogue recently made the decision to end funding this year for the KOACH program on college campuses. This difficult decision, outlined in our year-end report, was made because USCJ does not currently have the resources to adequately fund the program. As promised, over the last year we developed an ambitious program for expanding the reach of Conservative Judaism on college campuses, and are currently working to find philanthropic partners who can help fund it. Please read the letter released by our leaders about the KOACH program.
Safety and Security
Access a compilation of materials from USCJ to ensure that your kehilla is as secure as possible. We urge you to:
Call your local law enforcement to ask about increased patrols in your area.
Review your plans for dealing with threatening calls or unusual mail or packages.
Review your security training of security and office staff, as well as lay volunteers. Know what to look for and what to do. As always, if you see something, say something.
USCJ Against Gun Violence
To find resources, resolutions, and links about ending gun violence, including video of the USY rally, click here.
Are you looking for a scholar-in-residence for your kehilla? Click here to access a list of scholars available to USCJ kehillot.