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October 9, 2015 | 26th Tishrei 5776
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Q:  What is Communicate?

A.  Communicate is the online Resource Bank of programs and ideas, contacts and resources created by Union for Reform Judaism members for the use of our URJ congregations. Created in 1994 so that synagogues could share their best practices and successful and replicable programs and ideas, Communicate continues to grow as congregations and URJ add to it.

Q:  What is a Communicate summary, and how do I submit one?

A.  A short synopsis of a successful replicable program with material, such as invitations, brochures, publicity or curricula attached and links to relevant URJ programming.

Communicate summaries are chock full of information. Each summary contains:

  1. The title of the summary
  2. The summary number
  3. The author of the summary
  4. A synopsis of the program
  5. Resources which are often linked to actual congregational documents
  6. “For more information” links to URJ material
  7. Synagogue contact information
Submit your summary to; the Communicate administrator will help you adding your successful program to the database. 

Q:  What is What’s New in Communicate?

A.  What's New in Communicate is a monthly email describing the newest Communicate summaries, highlighting seasonal and topical summaries and illustrating how best to use Communicate. Click here to subscribe.

Q:  What search criteria are available in the advanced search?

A.  Keywords: Search using the quick search on the home page by choosing from the drop down menu. Search using the advanced search by choosing one keyword from the drop down menu in the first keyword box. Narrow or expand your search by choosing a second keyword in the second keyword box. If you want to expand your search, click on "match one;" if you want to narrow your search click on "match all." You can also type in your own keyword in the third keyword box.

Congregation Size: You can choose to limit your search by size. For example, if you are interested in only small congregations, enter 1 and 250 in the search boxes.

Author and Congregation: A colleague may have mentioned that he or she submitted a program to Communicate! Browse the drop-down menu to find that person’s name or congregation and the program submitted.

Text: An alternative to the keyword list, the text search enables you to cull through the actual summary.

Summary Number: The quickest way to access a summary if you know the number (having learned about it in What’s New in Communicate or from a colleague) is to enter it in the box or enter 1 and 2700 in the two boxes to browse all the summaries or 2000 and 2700 to browse the newest ones.

Q:  How do I use the keyword list?

A. Click on the keyword drop down menu and browse the hundreds of possible topics available in Communicate.

Q:  What is the difference between the search box on the home page and the advanced search?

A.  The home page search box is a quick, one-step search, just like a Google or Bing search. You can either choose a keyword from the drop down menu or visit the advanced search to type in your own search term.

Q:  Do I need to complete all the boxes in advanced search?

A.  No! Fill in as much or as little information as you wish to refine your search.

Q:  How can I find the latest summaries?

A.  When you search using Communicate the newest summaries appear first. If you would like to browse the entire Resource Bank, enter 1 and 2700 in the two summary number boxes. The newest summary will appear first. Then click on the arrows in the upper right corner of the summary to continue browsing.

Q:  What is the Epstein Communicate Award?

A.  Communicate founders Paddy and Barry Epstein created a grant program to encourage congregants to submit their successful programs to the Communicate Resource Bank. Awards are handed out every two years, coinciding with the North American Biennial.

Q:  What are the Award categories?

A.  Grants are awarded for the best program or idea submitted by a

  • Congregation with more than 750 households
  • Congregation with 250 to 750 households
  • Congregations with fewer than 250 households

  • (Please note that these categories are subject to change.)

Q:  How do I enter the Award Contest and be eligible for an Award?

All summaries entered into the Communicate database between North American Biennials are automatically eligible for Epstein Award. For example, any summary entered after the 2011 Biennial will be eligible for consideration at the 2013 Biennial. To enter your summary, send an email to and tell the Communicate Program Administrator about your successful program.

Q:  How can I get help entering my program?

A.  Email with your questions and the Program Administrator will assist you in adding your successful program to the database. 




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