No, I don’t mean Chanukah. No, I don’t mean the month-long slog toward Christmas. I don’t even mean the impending rush to solve our nation’s fiscal crisis before Congress and their staff tries to get home for Christmas.
No, now is the time to apply for the Commission on Social Action’s 2013 Fain Awards! What better way to mark this holiday season than by applying for a chance to highlight your congregation’s impressive social justice work at next year’s Consultation on Conscience.
Irving J. Fain, who passed away in 1970, was a passionate proponent of social justice and of the Reform Movement’s active commitment to the work of tikkun olam, serving for a decade as Chairperson of the Commission on Social Action. The Fain Awards, established in 1983 in honor of his memory, are awarded every two years to congregations whose work in the area of social justice is exemplary. Nominate your congregation to be a Fain Award winner this year!
You could join the ranks of synagogues like Temple Beth El of Chappaqua, New York, a 2011 Fain Award winner. Temple Beth El sought to forge a relationship with local Muslim organizations and created a multi-generational Muslim-Jewish dialogue. Not only did this commendable group help educate Jews and Muslims about one another, it also enabled them to create interfaith responses to crises like the war in Gaza and the flood in Pakistan.
Another 2011 Fain Award winner was the Touro Synagogue in New Orleans. The Touro Synagogue developed a deep-seated partnership with a neighboring at-risk public school through numerous initiatives such as tutoring, repairing the school building, mentoring and organizing winter coat drives. The partnership succeeded in helping to meet the needs of local school-kids and strengthened the bonds of community in the neighborhood.
If your synagogue run an excellent program like one of these, or something we’ve never seen before, apply for the 2013 Fain Awards today! Make sure you get your application in by December 31st, 2012 to be considered.