Today is February 20, 2018 -
Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center has been awarded a 2017 Solomon Schechter Artisan Award. This award recognizes congregations for innovative initiatives that transform the dynamic experience of Conservative Judaism. Our submission highlighting our Congregational Nurse and Chesed and Health Fair initiative was chosen by an international committee as an exemplar of this goal in the Kehilla (Jewish community inside and outside the walls of a synagogue) program. Our congregation was only one of two out of 51 congregational programs from around the country considered in this category. In all there were only 12 congregations recognized nationally in all of the categories out of 190 congregational programs.
The Solomon Schechter Award rewards extraordinary characteristics and certain unusual and outstanding aspects or achievements that go beyond the expected norms. Award winners deserve recognition for the originality and quality of their programs, for their presentations and achievements.
Given biennially at the USCJ Convention, Solomon Schechter Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in various aspects of congregation life, including:
Torah and Tefilla (Learning and Prayer)
Kehilla (Sacred Community)
Israel Education, Engagement and Advocacy
Prophetic Voice (Repairing the World)
Community Embrace (Inclusion)
This is a wonderful validation of the efforts our Chesed Chair, Laura Brodsky and her committee – a committee that can continue to grow with additional participation; helping those in the community with losses, health crises, or family challenges. In addition, the efforts of Linda Liederman, who stepped forward to become our congregational nurse, deserves our thanks for building what is now a national recognized program. And finally thanks to Maris Blechner, our Vice President for Engagement, who has helped to support within our Engagement framework our sustained commitment to building and reinforcing community.
We have been invited to attend the Dare Together Biennial Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, December 3-5 and participate in a panel workshop. The presentation will provide a forum for our congregation, along with other award winners, to share the work we have done, and to enable other congregations to model a similar initiative after ours.
The program, one of United Synagogue’s longest-running, was named after Dr. Solomon Schechter, and it is a fitting tribute to him. When he founded the United Synagogue in 1913, he hoped that our congregations’ standards would rise continuously. Since 1949, several hundred congregations have been recognized for excellence in various aspects of synagogue life. Dr. Schechter’s stress on meaningful synagogue activity and his emphasis on the synagogue as one of Judaism’s core institutions are reflected in general in our mission as a movement, and in particular in the selection and presentation of these awards.
If you would like to be part of our “entourage” to Atlanta and join in this celebration of our efforts, please contact the synagogue office.