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Or Ami Wins URJ Techie Awards

They like us… they really like us!

Okay, though it isn’t the Academy Awards, we celebrate that Congregation Or Ami won 3 (of 5 available) Union for Reform Judaism Techie Awards in the first year they were awarded.  Out of 900 Reform Movement congregations in North America, Or Ami was chosen for having the:

We take special pride in these Techie Awards for they recognize our purposeful process of using new technology to spread the ancient words of Torah. Once upon a time, books, newspapers and even two stone tablets, were new technology.  Today, we use blogs, Facebook, Twitter and more to promulgate our Jewish tradition and values.

So as we celebrate these honors, we recognize and thank a long list of people involved in the creation or continuation of Or Ami’s ventures into technology (I apologize at the outset for those who I neglected to mention):
  • David and Marla Greenman, who birthed our first website
  • Educator Josh Barkin (currently at Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles), who as an intern set up our first blog, and later was my tweeting role model
  • Steve Besser, who created our first Illuminating News eNewsletter template
  • Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, who blogs as Ima on (and off) the Bima, by whose example I became a better blogger
  • Educator Michal Rozenberg-Yalovsky, who as Program Director, served as webmaster for over four years
  • Marsha Rothpan, who as Program Director, took over Illuminating News and who serves as webmaster
  • Susan Gould, Steve Keleman, Darryl Lieberstein, Vadim Pariser, and Alice and Donald Goldsobel, who revised our website
  • Educator Rachel Margolis, currently of Raleigh, NC, who taught me the Constant Contact eNewsletter program
  • Rabbi Dan Medwin, who as an intern introduced us to Visual T’filah, pushed me into Apple products, and taught me about Twitter
  • Susan Gould and Kim Gubner, who attended a Social Networking Seminar with me and pushed our Facebook page – designed in part by teen Jessa Cameron – to the next level
  • Michael Kaplan, whose photographs and videos guided Or Ami into Pbase and later MobileMe galleries
  • Jewish Non-Profit professional David Harris, whose graduate thesis provided insights into the use of Facebook in non-profits and who is one of our Twitter role model and friends
  • Vadim Pariser, who set up Constant Contact, set up our first webcasts, transferred our email quickly to Gmail Applications, and does all things technological
  • Jacob Braunstein, who first webcast our High Holy Day services
  • Cantor Doug Cotler, who encouraged the expansion into technology and guided our Visual T’filah work
  • Susie Stark, Joy Haines, Barbara Gordon and Lori Cole, who make our technology work – from Chaverware Membership Data Base system to Hineynu Tracker to our webcalendar
What’s your favorite technology at Congregation Or Ami?


  1. Dan Medwin says:

    Mazel Tov and yashar koach! It would have been impressive just to win one award….
    Although, absent from this long list of people is the visionary leader who made it all possible: Rabbi Paul – you are a role model and inspiration for so many!

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