Dunwoody’s Congregation Beth Shalom was one of 12 congregations from across North America that received Solomon Schechter Awards during the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism biennial convention in Atlanta from Dec. 1 to 5.

Beth Shalom’s congregational school, led by Linda Zimmerman, was awarded second place for excellence in Israel education for its Teen Scene program, which incorporated material from the Center for Israel Education at Emory University and used videos and instructional material from Jerusalem U/Stand Up for Israel.

The course explored Israel’s complexities, accomplishments and values and inspired Beth Shalom teens to form relationships with Israel, its people and its heritage. The program gave the students the tools to respond to anti-Israel voices they’re likely to face at college if not in high school.

Edye Nechmad, a past vice president of education at Beth Shalom, and Rich Walter, the associate director of Israel education for the Center for Israel Education, taught the course.

Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek in Tamarac, Fla., was first in Israel education for its Twinning program. No other congregation in the South won a Schechter Award, USCJ’s highest honor.

More than 185 programs from USCJ’s nearly 600 congregations in North America were nominated for the awards, named for the man who founded the USCJ in 1913.