USCJ Announces Winners of 2017 Solomon Schechter Awards

USCJ Announces Winners of 2017 Solomon Schechter Awards

Posted on August 08, 2017

USCJ announced today the winners of its 2017 Solomon Schechter Awards, designed to recognize initiatives that shape an authentic and dynamic experience of Conservative Judaism. Ohev Shalom of Wallingford, Pennsylvania was distinguished at the highest level for innovation and impact, while 11 others were recognized for excellence in one of five categories.

More than 185 programs were submitted for consideration, and a panel of 15 judges carefully reviewed the entries to select the winners. All of the congregations recognized will present their award-winning initiatives at the 2017 USCJ convention, December 1-5 in Atlanta, GA.

The winning programs are:

Highest Award for Innovation and Impact

  1. Ohev Shalom, Wallingford, PA – FUSE (Fellowship of Urban and Suburban Engagement) – Prophetic Voice

Recognition of Excellence - Prophetic Voice (Tikkun Olam)

  1. Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, Burlington, VT –Welcoming The Stranger

Recognition of Excellence – Israel

  1. Temple Beth Torah Sha’arey Tzedek, Tamarac, FL – Twinning
  2. Congregation Beth Shalom, Atlanta, GA– Teen Scene
  3. Congregation Beth El, Norwalk, CT – Chanting Our Way to Israel

Recognition of Excellence - Torah and T’fillah

  1. Ohev Shalom, Wallingford, PA – Children of Israel Collection
  2. Temple Ramat Zion, Northridge, CA – Yad Squad
  3. Congregation Etz Chaim, Cincinnati, OH – T’sha B’Av Many Languages

Recognition of Excellence - Inclusion

  1. Adath Israel Congregation, Lawrenceville, NJ –Wheels to Israel
  2. Temple of Aaron, St. Paul, MN – Shavuot Interfaith Celebration

Recognition of Excellence - Kehilla

  1. Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill, NJ – Sephardic Seder
  2. Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center, Hollis Hills, NY – Congregational Nurse and Health/Chesed Fair

Read more about the winning programs

The awards program was named after Dr. Solomon Schechter, who founded the United Synagogue in 1913. Dr. Schechter's stress on meaningful synagogue activity and his emphasis on the synagogue as one of Judaism's core institutions are reflected in the USCJ mission as a movement, and in particular, in the selection and presentation of these awards.  Since 1949, several hundred congregations have been recognized.

About USCJ

Founded in 1913, USCJ is the network of nearly 600 Conservative Jewish communities across North America. We represent the values and beliefs of an authentic and dynamic Judaism in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Israel. Our work strengthens kehillot (Jewish communities inside and outside the walls of a synagogue) by providing visionary leadership training, creating opportunities for Jews of all ages to learn and grow, sharing essential resources, and seeding innovative ideas. Learn more at