December 21, 2014 · 29 Kislev

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Commonly asked questions about the Fain Award process and application.

Who is eligible to win a Fain Award?
The Irving J. Fain Award seeks to honor URJ congregations that put Jewish values to work in the world by:

  • Promoting social and economic justice;
  • Fostering peace and constructive human relations, globally and locally;
  • Relieving the suffering of the persecuted and downtrodden;
  • Mobilizing to serve people in times of emergency;
  • Defending civil rights and civil liberties.

What if my congregation has already won a Fain Award?
If your congregation won a Fain Award in the last two cycles, you are not eligible to apply for a Fain Award. (E.g. If your congregation won in 2009 or 2011, you are not eligible to apply for a 2013 Fain Award).

What if my congregation previously received an Honorable Mention?
Congregations receiving an Honorable Mention are eligible to apply for a Fain Award.

What kind of programs are applicable?
We are particularly interested in programs that involve a hands-on service component, educational programming and an advocacy/community-organizing initiative. Program should demonstrate creativity, involve a sizeable portion of the congregation, teach the congregation about social problems and Jewish values, promote effective advocacy work, build alliances with other community groups, educate the community regarding social issues in which the congregation is involved and are replicable. If you are not sure if your program or effort is appropriate, please contact Isaac Nuell, Manager of Congregational Social Action, at or 202.387.2800.

When are applications due?
Fain Awards are awarded every two years. 2013 Fain Award applications are available at

Can I see some examples of winning programs?
Here is the list of Fain Award winning programs from past years:

If we win, where and when will we receive the Fain Award?
Fain Awards will be presented at the Religious Action Center's Consultation on Conscience in Washington, D.C. A delegation from your congregation will be invited to collect the award at the conference.

What if I have an infrequently asked question?
Please contact Isaac Nuell, Manager of Congregational Social Action, at or 202.387.2800.


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