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Noteworthy

child holding sign requesting donations for japan earthquake relief Japan Relief: In response to the tragic devastation of the earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, the URJ has partnered with a number of North American Jewish organizations to form the Jewish Coalition for Japan Relief, which is sharing information about needs on the ground, collecting and distributing funds for relief and recovery efforts. To donate:
http://jdc.org/donation.

Reform Judaism Article Search by Subject: For the first time, Reform Judaism magazine’s website reformjudaismmag.org offers readers instant access to nearly 15 years of the magazine’s back issue content, organized by eight topics: Strengthening Synagogues, Jewish Living, Travel/World Reports, God & Spirituality, Holidays, Israel, Cooking, and College & Youth. Click on one of these categories on the magazine’s home-page menu bar and, using a drop-down menu, you can select specific topics—from “Accessibility & Inclusion” to “Worship” in Strengthening Synagogues; from “Bar/Bat Mitzvah” to “Worship” in Jewish Living; and “Argentina” to “Uganda” in Travel/World Reports. The still timely content can be shared with one’s family in conjunction with holidays and lifecycle events; reviewed by synagogue leaders seeking creative solutions to congregational challenges; used for adult and youth study/discussion, facilitated by RJ resource guides (see www.reformjudaismmag.org/4congregations/resources); and much more.

Explore the wealth of offerings: http://reformjudaismmag.org.

Rabbinic Transition Consulting for Congregations: The Union for Reform Judaism now offers a consulting program for member congregations in the first year of rabbinic transition as of July 1, 2011. After congregations contact the CCAR Rabbinic Placement office, the Union will provide complimentary self-assessment tools to gauge the temple’s needs, materials on transition theory, best practices and communication templates, ongoing one-on-one consultation with specialists in the field, webinars, and more. New rabbis and current or incoming presidents will also be able to attend the 2nd Annual Shallat Retreat, a highly subsidized two-day spring program funded by the Shallat-Rapaport Foundation which helps to promote mutual understanding of roles and expectations and teaches conflict avoidance/management/resolution techniques from a Jewish perspective. For more information contact Rabbi David Wolfman, Director, URJ-CCAR National Commission on Rabbinic-Congregational Relations, at DWolfman@urj.org, 212-452-6735; or Lisa Adler, Board Governance and Leadership Development Specialist, at Ladler@urj.org, 212-650-4186.

Guidance on Pre-K Funding: The trend toward state and federally funded Pre-K programs, which enables parents to send their children to Pre-K for free, is adversely affecting 83% of Jewish early childhood programs in the U.S., including those of URJ member synagogues. In 31 states, faith-based organizations can receive Pre-K funds, but many of those states prohibit the institutions that accept the funds from engaging in any religious programming. To help congregations with Pre-K programs navigate this new and complex educational environment, the Union for Reform Judaism provides guidance on how to accept government funds as well as how to generate additional non-government funds in accordance with state regulations and church-state protections. To learn more contact Cathy Rolland, URJ Early Childhood Specialist, 212-650-4111, crolland@urj.org or Barbara Weinstein, RAC Legislative Director, 202-387-2800, bweinstein@rac.org; or join the URJ early engagement group: http://urj.org/connect/network.




 


Union for Reform Judaism.