Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob & David has received a grant to build “a community of learning and doing.”
November 20, 2008
A West Orange synagogue has received a grant of more than $20,000 for a program of congregation-wide learning.
Ahawas Achim B’nai Jacob & David will use the funds to build “a community of learning and doing,” said congregation member Chaim Lauer of West Orange, who spearheaded the effort.
The grant comes from the Legacy Heritage Foundation’s Innovation Project, which promotes “family-based Jewish learning in congregations.”
Every month, beginning in September, the synagogue is examining a major Jewish value and then putting it into action.
This month, the theme is Thanksgiving. On the Shabbat of Nov. 15, seven families were scheduled to host in their homes speakers who would deliver talks at services focusing on the theme as found in the Modeh Ani prayer.
One goal of the program is “to apply what we do and feel on Shabbat to the rest of the week,” said Lauer. The Orthodox synagogue is using specific prayers to launch each month’s value. Materials are provided for discussion around the Shabbat table; adult education study groups and youth programs all address the same value in a given month.
The New York-based Legacy Heritage Fund gave its first Innovation Fund grants in 2006-07. Among the grantees that year was Bnai Keshet, a Reconstructionist synagogue in Montclair, which launched a synagogue-wide “Values in Action” curriculum. Congregation B’nai Israel, a Conservative synagogue in Millburn, which sought to integrate developmentally disabled Jews into its Shabbat and holiday worship, received one in 2007-08; Congregation Shomrei Emunah, a Conservative synagogue in Montclair, also received one that year for Shabbat-centered family programming.
Applications for 2009-10 Legacy Heritage Innovation Grants are due Dec. 3. For more information, contact project director Rabbi Mark J. Margolius at 212-578-8190, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.