Sample Aleph/Maccabee Award Ceremony
[Adapted from sources found on the Internet. Appropriate for use in Jewish packs and synagogue ceremonies.]
Learning by doing is a basic principle of Scouting. Just as a Scout keeps himself physically strong by camping, hiking, and other healthful outdoor activities, so he is encouraged to build himself spiritually and morally by practicing his religion. The religious award programs are designed to help a Scout practice "duty to God," to be "reverent," and to be "faithful" in his religious duties. Requirements for the various religious awards have been developed by the respective Jewish, Christian, Moslem, Buddhist, and other religions' committees on Scouting.
All Scouts are eligible to work for the distinctive religious awards of their faith. Every Scout is proud to achieve this high honor. A religious award is not a Scouting award. It is conferred on a Scout by the committee representing his own religious faith. The Scout learns his specific duties from his own rabbi, Religious School teacher, or Jewish Awards Counselor, no matter where he has his Scouting affiliation. The Boy Scouts of America has authorized these religious awards to be worn over the left pocket of the Scout shirt.
The requirements for the Jewish religious awards were developed by the Jewish Committee on Scouting of the Boy Scouts of America. They have been approved by the Synagogue Council of America, which represents the various branches of American Judaism. The requirements involve a general knowledge of the Bible, history, customs, and Judaism. Faithful attendance at synagogue on Shabbat and holidays is also required. In addition, the Scout renders service to the synagogue, the community, and his Scout unit. The requirements are quite flexible, and any Scout who has had a good religious education will find it possible to achieve the award if he earnestly applies himself. When the counselor feels that the Scout has fulfilled all the requirements satisfactorily, the Scout is recommended for the award.
Introduced in 1947, the Jewish religious awards program has been enthusiastically received throughout the United States by rabbis, educators, Scouters, and Scouts as an answer to a long-felt need.
There are four Jewish religious awards -- the Ner Tamid Award for Boys Scouts, the Etz Chaim Award for older Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturers, the Aleph Award for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts, and the Maccabee Award for Tiger Cubs and younger Cub Scouts.
The Aleph Award program is for Cub Scouts and Webelos to further their knowledge of Judaism through requirements in the areas of the Torah, Prayer, Religious Holidays, Bible Heroes, Famous American Jews, the Synagogue, the Jewish Home, and the Land of Israel.
The Maccabee Emblem program was introduced to give the Tiger Cub and younger Cub Scout, working along with his parents, an opportunity to learn more about Judaism. The requirements are divided into six categories -- Jewish Names, Holidays, Terms, Symbols and Objects, Community Helpers, and Heroes.
[Call each boy up to the front, by name, with his parents.]
We are very proud of the boys receiving religious awards tonight. For the past few months, they have worked with their family and counselors to learn more about Judaism and their duty to God. After much hard work and personal growth, they have received the right to wear the Jewish religious awards on their uniforms.
Like all Scouts who have received a religious award, each boy receiving an award at this ceremony may wear Scouting's universal religious award square knot on his uniform. He may continue to wear this silver square knot on a purple background as a Boy Scout, as a Varsity Scout, as a Venturer, and as an adult Scout leader.
To signify that he has earned this badge as a Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, or Webelos, he may affix a miniature gold device to the religious knot. If a Scout already wears the knot, he may affix second miniature gold device to the knot, hopefully to be joined later by a third and a fourth device.
We also must recognize each Scout's parents for the important role they have and will continue to play in his religious growth. Scouts, we know you that throughout your Scouting life you will continue to wear the silver square knot centered above your left pocket with pride. Congratulations on your accomplishment. You have lived the Cub Scout Promise well.