This podcast is Temple Emanuel Podcast #5, an interview with Associate Rabbi Geri Newburge about the Temple Emanuel Youth Alternative Weekend program, which took place in November 2006.
At that time, Temple Emanuel young people spent the weekend of the annual teacher’s convention on an alternative retreat in Baltimore that combined social, spiritual, and community action activities.
In April, the program won the Irving J. Fain Award from the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Geri Newburge, our associate rabbi, accepted the Award RAC’s Consultation on Conscience program in Washington.
The award is named in honor of the late Irving J. Fain, who was Chair of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism for more than a decade.
In its citation, the Reform Action Center said “Temple Emanuel’s youth program is modeled after the college Alternative Spring Break. Held in November when schools were closed for an annual teachers’ convention, Temple Emanuel exposed students to the effects of poverty through a volunteer program in Baltimore, MD. Participants volunteered in three agencies including a soup kitchen, a food bank and a transitional homeless shelter. After returning, they dedicated themselves to educating others in the congregation about the shared responsibility to work for social and economic justice.”
In this podcast, Rabbi Newburge discusses the program and the award, and the challenges of developing compelling program for Jewish young people.
Theme Music: “Untitled,” by Dave Ahl, from GarageBand.com