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Manhattan Jewish Experience to Celebrate 18 Years of Accomplishments at Annual Dinner


March 13, 2017 - NEW YORK, NY

The Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) will celebrate 18 years of successful Outreach at the Museum for Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place, NYC) on Thursday, March 23, 2017. Founded by Rabbi Mark Wildes in 1998, MJE is a highly successful outreach program that has reconnected thousands of young men and women with Judaism and the Jewish community and provided a venue through which 279 couples have met or married.

Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald will receive the prestigious Rabbinic Leadership Award at the MJE Annual Dinner. As one of the leaders in the movement of Jewish return in America today, Rabbi Buchwald has pioneered and developed many of the most dramatic and effective Jewish engagement programs, through his National Jewish Outreach Programs (NJOP). Rabbi Buchwald was also instrumental in the development of MJE by assisting in the close relationship between NJOP and MJE. Over the last 18 years, Rabbi Buchwald has provided guidance and support to Rabbi Wildes. MJE's co-founder Jill Wildes, is a graduate of Rabbi Buchwald's Beginner Service at Lincoln Square Synagogue.

NJOP programs have been offered in nearly 5,000 locations across North America, and in 44 countries worldwide, attracting more than one-and-a-half million participants in North America alone.

Other notable MJE members will be honored that night as well, including two couples serving as the guests of honor. They are Dana Hiltzik, a speech pathologist and her husband, Matthew, the CEO and President of Hiltzik Strategies; and Leigh and Daniel Waxman, both lawyers who host MJE participants in their home and Emily & Andrew Weiss, who met at an MJE event and have been married since 2005, will be honored as couple of the year. Heather Conn, an English teacher at Information Technology High School and Troy Valberg, a software salesman at Bluecore, one of NYC's fastest growing tech start-ups, will be honored for student recognition.

MJE's Founder Rabbi Mark Wildes had this to say: "MJE's Dinner this year celebrates 18 years of engaging our Jewish brothers and sisters in Jewish life. During this time, MJE has reconnected young Jewish professionals to the beauty of Shabbat, Jewish Learning and Israel. We celebrate this milestone by paying tribute to a pioneer of Jewish Outreach, Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, leader of the Jewish Return Movement."

"The Manhattan Jewish Experience may be one of the most effective Jewish outreach/engagement programs in the world," said Rabbi Buchwald. "The number of participants is astounding and the quality of its programs is unmatched. I am humbled and honored to receive this award. They have literally transformed Manhattan and the lives of many thousands of Jews."

With three sites in different neighborhoods in New York City, MJE's effectiveness in engaging young Jewish women and men emerges from its warm and open environment, and from its array of stimulating and innovative Jewish social and educational programming including Shabbat Dinners, engaging Torah study classes, Retreats and trips to Israel, and much more.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.jewishexperience.org.

About Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE)
Founded by Rabbi Mark N. Wildes in 1998, Manhattan Jewish Experience is a warm and open community serving over 10,000 NYC young professionals. Through social, cultural, spiritual and educational events, young men and women can explore Jewish life and meet new people. To learn more visit www.jewishexperience.org.

About Rabbi Mark Wildes
Rabbi Mark Wildes is the Founder and Director of Manhattan Jewish Experience -- a social, educational and spiritual events organization for Millennials. He was ordained by Yeshiva University. Before becoming a rabbi, he received a JD from the Cardozo School of Law and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. Since founding MJE, Rabbi Wildes has become one of America's most inspirational and dynamic Jewish educators, actively blogging for The Times of Israel and Huffington Post, and running a YouTube channel. Rabbi Wildes, his wife Jill and children live on the Upper West Side where they maintain a warm and welcoming home for all.

Media contact:
Amanda Bush
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