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Inside Leadership
Group of people smiling and dancing at the 2015 URJ Biennial
Shabbat worshippers
Closeup of and elderly woman and a young woman holding hands as though to represent caretaking

As older Americans stay fit and engaged in active lives, a great number of them nevertheless count on a measure of companionship and support to be provided by family members – usually their adult children. Even in relationships that aren’t not ideal, children are often struck with a sense of moral obligation and duty when a parent’s situation is changing in critical ways. They are the default people to entrust a set of keys, grant access to insurance, financial and legal documents, name as contact in case of emergency, and help coordinate end-of-life details.

But what about those...

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Pile of sharpened colored pencils against a white background

Has your sisterhood been looking for a new and meaningful social action project? Have you been trying to involve youth or others in the congregation in your sisterhood programs? Kits for Kids, formerly called Bedtime Kits for Kids, could be the perfect tikkun olam project for your sisterhood to introduce to your synagogue community.

Since 2006, the sisterhood of Temple Sholom in Vancouver, BC, has been running a social action project that prepares backpacks for children who unexpectedly have had to leave their homes for emergency shelters....

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Group of campers

These days, the calendar seems to rush by faster than ever. The school year is winding down, the temperature is ticking up, and the URJ Youth team is eagerly counting down to summer!

In our collective efforts to engage young people in meaningful Jewish life, your partnership is invaluable. Together, we’ve achieved incredible successes of which we all can be proud:

  • At this year’s NFTY Convention, we welcomed 1,400 teens, alumni, and congregational leaders, launching NFTY’s...
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Closeup of a female rabbi with curly blond hair leading a congregation from the bimah with her arms open wide while wearing a prayer shawl

What makes engagement in small congregations different than in larger congregations?

The most obvious answers are lack of income, a smaller volunteer pool, and few – if any – paid staff. While every congregation, regardless of size, could use those same excuses to explain their challenges, the scarcity of these resources is amplified in small congregations and results in unique problems.

Here are four challenges that leaders from small congregations face – and how you can deal with these issues to increase engagement.

1. Energize burned-out leaders by redefining your... Read More

Toddler at synagogue programming with arms raised as if dancing

How does a national organization harness the power of individual and autonomous congregations to support each other as they experiment within the field of congregational Jewish education?

The Union for Reform Judaism has found a strong and meaningful vehicle in the Community of Practice (CoP) strategy, which convenes cohorts of congregational leaders for long-term, innovative learning about a topic of shared interest. Participating congregations form teams of lay leaders and professionals...

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About Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership, the blog at, is a source for Reform Jewish leaders to get the latest news and though-provoking articles about Jewish communal life.