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Orthodox shuls get outreach grants

Two Orthodox synagogues received $20,000 and a third received $7,500 in outreach grants. Congregation Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner in Overland Park, Kan., and Young Israel of New Rochelle, N.Y., each received $20,000 Orthodox Union Outreach Grants, it was announced Thursday. This is the first year for the grant program, meant to encourage Orthodox synagogues to reach out to unaffiliated Jews in their communities. Thirty-one synagogues entered the competition. Though just one $20,000 grant was meant to be awarded, the judging committee announced it could not decide between the two top contenders, and gave them each the same grant. It also allocated a third, smaller grant to Baron Hirsch Congregation in Memphis, Tenn. The winning proposals offer detailed plans for creating and marketing programs aimed at young families, singles and other unaffiliated Jews and creating warm, welcoming congregations.