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October 6, 2015 | 23rd Tishrei 5776

URJ Community of Practice Approach

The initial process takes place over 18-24 months. Learning and networking take place at in-person gatherings, ongoing e-learning, virtual gatherings and coaching from URJ staff.

The curriculum includes six components:

  • Research/Study of the Field: Exploration of relevant topics, learning from experts, studying best principles and exploring common challenges.
  • Experiment Design: After learning together for a few months, each congregational team is encouraged to craft an experiment/pilot proposal that addresses a pressing issue for the congregation, which arose from the learning.
  • Experiment Implementation: Congregations launch their pilots while sharing successes and troubleshooting challenges with support from the full community of practice.
  • Evaluation: Using the pilot's benchmarks for success, congregations track the accomplishments of the experiment.
  • Sharing Successes: Community of practice congregations share successes with the Movement-at-large in various ways.
  • Coaching: One on one conversations with a URJ staff member to discuss the pilot program, work through challenges and savor successes.

Although URJ communities of practice learn, experiment and reflect together for an intensive 18-24 months, ultimately the process is designed to serve as a catalyst for change, helping congregations transform into communities of belonging, meaning and purpose. The relationships and learning that emerge from the communities of practice last well beyond the initial intensive experience with continued learning and networking.

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