A Taste of the New Year and a New Synagogue

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Renaissance Group invites community members ages 22-45 for a Taste of the New Year, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attendees are welcome to sample wines and light hors d’oeuvres and meet with representatives from Center City and suburban synagogues to receive free or discounted High Holiday tickets. According to Renaissance Group Director Sarah Bernstein Solomon, this event is an opportunity for synagogues to have a presence as much as it is for people to network and socialize.  “Renaissance Group, along with the other hosting organizations, aims to be as inclusive as possible.  We’re making sure our community members are welcomed somewhere,” Solomon said.
Rabbi Eli Freedman of Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia, a liberal, Reform congregation committed to social justice, said that his congregation’s values align with what many young adults are looking for, which makes the event all the more enjoyable. He said the wine tasting is an “amazing outreach tool” that synagogues in Greater Philadelphia can use to meet unaffiliated young adults.
“Even if we do not get a new member from the High Holiday Wine Tasting, we have accomplished our mission to provide an important Jewish service for the young adults in our Great-er Philadelphia community,” Freedman said. “We are playing the long game, and hope that even if they are not ready to affiliate at this time, experiences like this will help keep this generation connected and maybe in a few years…they may reach back out to us.”
Allison Benton and her husband were thinking about joining a synagogue when they attended last year’s wine tasting event. After speaking to representatives from different synagogues and receiving free High Holiday tickets, they chose a synagogue.
“If we hadn’t attended the High Holiday Wine Tasting event, we would probably still be searching for a synagogue,” Benton said. “I highly recommend this event to anyone who doesn’t have a place to go for High Holiday services or is interested in learning about the many different synagogues in the Philadelphia region.”
The event is hosted at the Jewish Community Services Building at 2100 Arch Street in Philadelphia and is co-sponsored by the AEPi Philadelphia Alumni Club, the Bucks County Jewish Community, the Bux-Mont Neighborhood Kehillah, the Center City Kehillah, the Chester County Kehillah, The Chevra, The Collaborative, the Consulate General of Israel, the Delaware County Jewish Community, Hillel’s Jewish Graduate Student Network, InterfaithFamily Philadelphia, the Jewish Exponent, the Kehillah of Lower Merion, Moishe House Philadelphia, the Northeast Philadelphia Jewish Community, the Old York Road Jewish Community, Spectrum Philly, Renaissance Group, the Victor Centers, Young Jewish Leadership Concepts and the Young Friends of the National Museum of American Jewish History.
The Renaissance Group is a group of passionate young Jewish adults who seek a Jewish connection and the opportunity to make a real difference in the community through volunteerism and fundraising. Programs focus on young professionals, young families and couples, as well as Israel trips, leadership development and mitzvah programming.
Tickets for the wine tasting event are $5 in advance for students, $10 in advance for non-students and $15 at the door.  Individuals and synagogues seeking more information can visit winetasting2015.eventbrite.com.


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