SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel (TSTI) was recently recognized as an Exemplar Congregation, which according to a press release from TSTI, is an honor which was given to "twenty-seven Reform Jewish congregations from across North America." TSTI received the North American Award for Outstanding Inclusion of People with Disabilities.

TSTI was recognized by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) as an Exemplar Congregation for "having made great strides in inclusion of people with disabilities in all facets of congregational life."

TSTI was one of the twenty-seven Exemplar Congregations that were recently honored with a certificate of merit in inclusion at the URJ Biennial in Orlando, Florida.

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As an Exemplar Congregation, TSTI serves as a mentor and resource to other Jewish communities seeking to expand their inclusion work. All of the Exemplar Congregations are featured on the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center site, an online portal designed to connect staff members, lay leaders and congregations across the country and provide opportunities for them to learn from and educate one another on issues of inclusion.

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel is a vibrant Reform congregation located at 432 Scotland Road in South Orange, N.J., that offers Early Childhood Education, Religious School, teen programs, lifelong learning for adults, and a full complement of religious services and cultural programs each month. TSTI serves member families from Maplewood, the Oranges, Livingston, Millburn, Short Hills and surrounding areas. For more information, visit

In attendance at the Biennial and in the photo are: (standing l – r) Elizabeth Zwick, senior program officer, Ruderman Family Foundation; Rabbi Daniel Cohen, TSTI; Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ president; (seated l – r) Alanna Carter, Young Family Engagement coordinator, TSTI; Carol Paster, Early Childhood Education director, TSTI; and Rabbi Alexandra Klein, TSTI.