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Fain Awards: FAQs

Who is eligible to win a Fain Award?
Any congregation that is a member in good standing of the Union for Reform Judaism. 

Who was Irving J. Fain?
Irving J. Fain, who passed away in 1970, was a passionate proponent of social justice and of the Reform Movement's active commitment to the work of tikkun olam, and served for a decade as Chairperson of the Commission on Social Action. The Fain Awards, established in 1983 in his honor and memory, are awarded every two years to congregations whose work in the area of social justice is exemplary. Specifically, awards are presented to congregations that have successfully involved large numbers of congregants in their social action programs or that have developed genuinely innovative and/or particularly effective projects.

What if my congregation has already won a Fain Award?
If your congregation won a Fain Award in the 2017 award cycle, you are not eligible to apply for a Fain Award.

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


When are applications due?
Applications for the 2019 Fain Awards are due July 8th, 2019. 

Who selects the winners?
Winning programs will be determined by a special committee of the Commission on Social Action. All eligible Union for Reform Judaism congregations in good standing are invited to apply.

If we win, where and when will we receive the Fain Award?
Fain Awards will be presented at the URJ Biennial. 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 Liz Mitlak, Leadership Development Associate at emitlak@rac.org