Professional Associations of Reform Educators and Youth Professionals to Merge
NEW YORK, New York; June 28, 2016 – The Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) has announced that it will merge with the Reform Youth Professionals Association (RYPA), bringing into one organization all Reform Jewish professionals who engage and educate youth in synagogues, camps, and other Jewish entities. The merger will take effect this month, July 2016.
The merger not only recognizes the value youth engagement professionals bring to the field of Jewish education and to Jewish life, but also advances the ARJE as the voice of Reform Jewish education across North America and beyond. As members of the ARJE, Reform youth professionals will have greater access to professional development opportunities, a strong network of colleagues, advocacy around issues of concern, and job placement and career services.
According to Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, RJE, ARJE president, “The ARJE is excited to welcome new members and new ideas into our community, and we look forward to the diversity of practice and approach to our work that RYPA will bring to our mutual work on behalf of the Reform Movement’s Jewish educational endeavors.”
“Educators and youth professionals are vital in our Reform communities, and combining the strengths of the ARJE and RYPA is a strategic move that will elevate youth engagement and ensure that the best trained professionals are engaging the next generation with our tradition’s teachings and values,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, of which the ARJE is a partner organization.
“As a youth professional who has been dedicated to this field for over a decade, I am thrilled by the merger of RYPA and the ARJE,” said Alison Stamm, Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai of Roslyn. “Our unified professional organization will finally reflect the close relationship between youth professionals and congregational educators. I am excited about the professional development opportunities that can be provided by an established, respected organization which will benefit both novice and veteran youth professionals.”
Vice President, ARJE