Historically the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has prepared a printed directory of congregations and their lay and professional leaders and provided each congregational president, rabbi, cantor, administrator, and educator with a copy. Respecting its covenantal relationship with its members, the Union has refused to make this information available to vendors and others who seek to market to the congregations.
In 1995 the Union established its first Web site. In order to help people who were moving or traveling locate Reform congregations, a congregational directory was created that listed, by state and city, the congregations and their telephone numbers. In addition, a link was created to any congregation that had its own Web site.
Much has changed since the early days of the Web. Currently, approximately 800 of the more than 900 congregations in the Union have Web sites. Virtually every congregational Web site includes the names and contact information for its lay and professional leaders, and many congregations include maps to help visitors find the congregation. Sophisticated search engines on the Web enable visitors to find every synagogue in a community within minutes, and many other organizations, such as the Federation, include synagogue information on their Web sites.
In addition, while information in the printed version of the UAHC directory is obsolete from the day it is printed, our constituents expect the information that we provide to be current and accurate.
Given the changing technology that makes it easy to find information about congregations and the ability to quickly update information on the Web, the time has come to review the Union's policy regarding information that is shared with the general public.
THEREFORE, be it resolved that
The Union of American Hebrew Congregations will make the information available in its printed directory available on its Web site.
The information provided will include the address, phone number, fax, and e-mail of the congregation, its Web site, the names of its key professional staff and the president.
Before the online directory is created, each congregation will be notified of the change in policy and will be given the opportunity to opt out. For congregations that opt out, the only information included in the online directory will be city, state, phone and a link to the congregation's Web site, if applicable.