Small congregations contribute to big turnout at URJ Biennial in Chicago

By Betsy Frank

Betsy Frank is UHC para-rabbinic fellow and president.

Betsy visited with former UHC student rabbi Elle Muhlbaum at the URJ Biennial.

As I write this month’s column, I am still experiencing a “high” from attending the Union of Reform Judaism Biennial convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

There is nothing like celebrating Shabbat services with 5,000 people. But the most rewarding feature for me was to see all the high school and college students enthusiastically participating in religious services and other sessions.

The most rewarding feature for me was to see all the high school and college students enthusiastically participating in religious services and other sessions.

I took part in programs targeted at small congregations and gained useful ideas we can initiate at UHC.

Meeting people from across the country and around the world enhanced my learning experiences. Visiting with former student rabbi Elle Muhlbaum and her husband and their baby Judah was especially gratifying.

UHC contributes to vibrant Reform movement

Reform Judaism is very much alive and well!

I learned that 85 percent of congregations are classified as small congregations, with 250 or fewer families. Further, small congregations like ours are the face of Reform Judaism.

The UHC mission statement shows our small but vital congregation is committed to the larger Jewish community and the Wabash Valley community.

As we begin the 2020s, let us all re-commit to engaging in our vibrant Jewish community.

Meanwhile, if you are traveling to warmer places for the winter, enjoy. We will welcome you back on your return.

Shalom,

Betsy Frank

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