Mission: The Union for Reform Judaism
inspires individuals and nurtures dynamic, compelling Jewish communities of
Catalyzing Congregational Change
Engaging the Next Generation
Expanding Our Reach
Catalyzing Congregational Change
The URJ catalyzes
congregational change by assembling and sharing best practices, effective
tools, and proven methods and models, including:
Congregational Network Teams personalize the relationship between
the Union and its congregations by identifying ways the Movement can best
support the needs of each synagogue. Through regular dialogue between Network
Team members and congregational leaders--both professional and lay--the six
Network Teams connect similar congregations (based on size and geography)
to one another, to resources, and to thought leaders.
The rabbinic director on each Network
Team works closely with the CCAR and other professional placement groups.
Mid-sized congregations, our largest
cohort, connect and convene through one of four Geographic Leadership
Teams (East, South, Central and West)
Smallest Congregations relate through a
network tailored to their unique needs
Largest Congregations are similarly
networked to address their particular concerns
The Knowledge Network
provides meticulously researched answers to your inquiries about Reform Jewish and congregational life.
URJ staff is ready to help you, by phone at 1.855.urj.1800, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to answer your inquiries
quickly and completely.
Working with staff experts at the URJ, and various Corps of Experts comprised of current and former temple board members, presidents, clergy and staff
members from throughout the Reform movement, the Knowledge Network staff has immediate access to the expertise that will make our answer to your inquiry
meaningful and helpful.
is the online platform of the URJ Knowledge Network. Built in Microsoft Sharepoint, The Tent will enable leaders throughout the Reform movement to
communicate, to collaborate, to share, and to learn in new, vibrant ways.
Group and community sites enabling users to communicate in listserv type conversations.
Searchable resource libraries encouraging sharing of expertise and collaboration on documents and projects.
Social networking, encouraging new relationships and conversations.
provide opportunities for congregations to work with other congregations facing
similar challenges, as well as with expert faculty. Through intensive
in-person learning, virtual work, and experimentation with potential solutions,
congregations will address one specific element of synagogue life that is of
concern. These Communities of Practice are underway:
Plans are in place to launch
these Communities in the future:
of Expert Practitioners
is an assembly of trailblazing professionals from congregations and exemplary
institutions throughout and beyond the Jewish world, including the URJ and
HUC-JIR, who speak at gatherings, host webinars, and contribute to Communities
of Practice and The Tent on these and other topics:
Other Resources: The URJ also offers an array of other
resources to assist congregations in building, maintaining and enhancing their
Biennial, a five-day
Reform Movement convention featuring study, worship, music, speakers,
plenary sessions and more, designed to bring the Reform Jewish family
together to celebrate and chart its course for the future
The URJ has a number of initiatives in
place to engage the next generation of Reform Jews.
The Campaign for Youth
Engagement is a
focused, strategic effort to leverage the full strength and talent of every
corner of the Reform Movement to engage and retain the majority of our youth by
the year 2020. We will do so by:
Cultivating human resources: Investing
in people who work with our youth and families, providing training, a
career path and a valued staff role, and strengthening the status of the
community and relationships as primary goals in all we do in our
Cultivating opportunities: Offer
immersive Jewish experiences and forge institutional connections to ensure
smooth transitions for youth and families as they develop and navigate
their own Jewish journeys.
The URJ offers resources to
help congregations engage and welcome individuals from all backgrounds,
including interfaith families, LGBT individuals and families, 20s and 30s, and
other non-traditional members.
Initiatives: For more than 30 years, the URJ has been developing
innovative resources to help individuals, interfaith couples and
families, particularly the non-Jewish partner, feel more comfortable in a
Reform setting. We work to empower people to make Jewish choices for themselves
and their families and strive to provide resources to inform educated
Engaging 20s and 30s: Today, people are marrying and
having children later than ever before. The reasons that young adults
affiliated with a congregation have changed. The URJ is working on initiatives
with such partners as Birthright Next, Hillel and others to help make people in
their 20s and 30s an integral, active part of congregational life.
Older Adults: Reform
congregations throughout North America are facing the challenge of a changing
congregational demographic. Never before has our membership included such a
large proportion over the age of 50. How do we retain these older members once
their children no longer bind them to temple life? The URJ is working with
synagogues are learning more and more how to capture the interests and tap the
energy of this growing segment of their membership.
LGBT Individuals and
Families: The URJ offers congregations advocacy resources, ideas and more
about how to welcome the LGBT community into your congregation.
Expanding Our Reach
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from a modern Jewish perspective is now fully live.