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NEWS FROM OUR DEPARTMENTS

ISRAEL COMMISSION

Our new Israel Commission is now up and running; so far more than 260 con- gregations have sent us the names and email address of their Israel Affairs com- mittee chairs. If your synagogue has not yet done so, please be sure to appoint someone – perhaps a vice-president, board member or congregant – to this important position, and send the informa- tion to Rabbi Paul Freedman at freed- man@uscj.org. The Israel Commission chairperson will receive mailings and information to pass on to your congrega- tion. This will guarantee that your syna- gogue benefits from the work of United Synagogue’s Israel Commission!

The commission already has a number of accomplishments on record. It is devel- oping an electronic magazine with arti- cles that show Israel in a positive, apoliti- cal way and will include sections with information on our movement. The com- mission also is compiling a listing of synagogues planning trips to Israel. If a trip is already in the planning stages or you are just beginning to think about one, email Rabbi Paul Freedman at freedman@uscj.org.

EDUCATION

attended the biennial conference of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association. The conference was held in Boca Raton, Florida, from December 10 through December 12. The theme of the conference, Community, Commitment and Covenant, also is the association’s mission.

The participants came to learn from consultants who have expertise in gover- nance and leadership, from scholars in Jewish education, and from each other. Topics included: professional develop- ment, recruitment, branding and market- ing, vision and strategic planning, afford- ability and financial assistance, and main- taining educational excellence. The con- ference also grappled with several of the big issues facing Conservative Judaism.

The education department’s newsletter for parents of young children, Your Child, is now available on our website. For relevant, smart, information on bringing up your children Jewishly, go to http://www.uscj.org/Your_Child_Newslett e7151.html.

The Family Activity Guide for Pesach is available from the education depart- ment. $25, prepaid; includes a master copy and permission to reprint. To order, call the education department at 212-583- 7800, ext.2500.

YOUTH

Ezra Academy in Woodbridge, Connecticut, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. The school’s head, Shelley Kriege , holds a certifi- cate presented to the school by the Solomon Schechter Day School Association. She is flanked, from left, by the association’s presi- dent, Andy Cohen; Dr. Robert Abramson, director of United Synagogue’s department of education; Ezra Academy’s assistant head, Rabbi Amanda Brodie, and Dr. Elaine Cohen, associate director of United Synagogue’s education department and head of the Schechter association.

United Synagogue Youth is accepting reg- istrations for its 2007 summer programs. USY’s summer programs provide the very best in staff, security, transportation, lodg- ing, and sightseeing, and participants come back home with a strengthened sense of themselves and of their identity as Conservative Jews. USY programs include Classic USY on Wheels; USY on Wheels, Mission: Mitzvah; USY on Wheels, East; Outdoor Adventure, Pacific Northwest; Summer in the City; Israel

Adventure; Pilgrimage

;

Eastern Europe/Israel Israel Pilgrimage/Poland

Seminar; Spain/Israel Pilgrimage, and Etgar! Outdoor Adventure, Israel. For more information, go to www.usy.org.

More than 130 educational professional and lay leaders from 44 Solomon Schechter schools across North America

HAZAK

Eight Hazak regions will hold a weeklong 3

retreat at the Block and Hexter Adult Center in Poyntelle, Pennsylvania, from June 13 through June 20. Lecturers include: Sheldon Horowitz; Dr. Abe Gittelson; and United Synagogue’s direc- tor of congregational programming, Rabbi Moshe Edelman.

Space is limited; to download an appli- cation go to http://www.uscj.org/images/ HAZAKRetreat2007_app_wit_letter.pdf. For more information, call Jo-Anne Tucker-Zemlak at 301- 230-0801, ext. 1, or email her at zemlak@uscj.org.

CONGREGATIONAL SERVICES

Imun retreat participants daven shacharit at Camp Ramah.

Imun, a study retreat for synagogue lay leaders, teaches and strengthens syna- gogue skills. Imun attendees learn the basics of reading Torah, leading services, and presenting a d’var Torah. Participants come from small congregations that need trained leaders, from large congregations that need pararabbinic or paracantorial help, and from synagogues of all in- between sizes. This year, Imun will be held at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires in Wingdale, New York, from July 8 to July 16. For more information, check the United Synagogue website at www.uscj.org/IMUN5114.html, call Rabbi Paul Drazen at 212-533-7800, ext. 2612, or email him at drazen@uscj.org.

COMMUNICATIONS

Keep up on the latest United Synagogue news with eNews. It’s updated monthly; find the link on the homepage bulletin board at www.uscj.org. It’s also sent

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