Submitted by the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
New York, NY, October 19, 2016 – The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) announced today that the Heller family of Scotch Plains, NJ, has made an endowment gift of $5 million to fund the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel Program, which is being renamed URJ Heller High: Isaac and Helaine Heller EIE High School in Israel. This is the largest gift in EIE history, and the URJ’s largest non-capital gift.
As we celebrate Sukkot this year, our world is experiencing a fierce progression of refugees and migrants who are wandering and homeless, nationless, and destitute, encased in fear and uncertainty, fleeing the ills of civil war, natural disaster, poverty, and political insurrection. Indeed, for massive numbers of people in our world, wandering and the impermanence of temporary shelter are all they have.
More than 130 adults and children spent a few days earlier this month building a communal sukkah, eating shared meals outside, singing songs and sleeping in tents under the stars.
And they did it all in Russian.
With the High Holiday season behind us, I hope that every service and event was meaningful and beautiful for you and your entire congregational family.