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2017 Elbert M. Conover Memorial Award Winner: Rabbi David Stern

The American Institute of Architects' Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA) announces its Elbert M. Conover Memorial Award winner.

By Church Designer Staff   •  March 20, 2017 12:51 pm EDT

Tags: american institute of architects, architecture, award, community, ifraa, interfaith forum on religion, art and architecture,

Rabbi David Stern, winner of the 2017 Conniver Award, is senior rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, a Reform Congregation of 2,500 families and reportedly one of the largest in the United States. The Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects' (AIAs') IFRAA knowledge community reports that Rabbi Stern exemplifies the spirit of the award, demonstrating a passion for quality worship and sacred spaces, fostering spiritual values and promoting cross-denominational community.

Under Rabbi Stern’s leadership, Temple Emanu-El has broadened its cross-denominational outreach, according to information on IFRAA's website, both providing education and resources to interfaith families within the temple community and through shared activities with congregations of other denominations. The temple initiated a program of Interfaith Shabbat events, where Rabbi Stern and clergy from other denominations exchange leadership of their respective services. Rabbi Stern has collaborated for years with his friend Reverend George Mason, senior pastor at local Wilshire Baptist Church. In addition to education and interfaith community events, the two led a bi-congregational trip to Israel in 2014.

Find more on Rabbi Stern here:

Award Background

The Elbert M. Conover Memorial Award was established in 1953 by the Church Architecture Guild of America. It was later administered by the Guild for Religious Architecture, IFRAA Inc., and then by the AIA IFRAA Knowledge Community.

IFRAA representatives report that the prestigious Conover Award is given to non-architects in recognition of their contributions to religious architecture, in order to, "Perpetuate in the hearts and minds of those interested in religious architecture memories of our deceased leader; encourage leaders, outside the architecture profession, to crusade for better religious architecture; recognize outstanding individuals who merit citation for their excellence in fostering spiritual values."

Dr. Conover spent 11 years in ministry and was appointed director of the Bureau of Architecture of the Methodist Church in 1924. He became the first director of the Interdenominational Bureau of Architecture, later titled the Bureau of Church Building and Architecture, National Council of the Churches of Christ of the United States of America.

The next call for nominations for the Conover Award will open early 2019, according to IFRAA reports.

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