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October 23, 2014 | 29th Tishrei 5775

URJ Community of Practice Approach

The URJ communities of practice process takes place over 18-24 months. Each begins and ends with in-person gatherings, to be attended by all of the community of practice's congregational representatives, and includes ongoing e-learning and monthly virtual gatherings.

The communities of practice curriculum includes five components:

  • Research/Study of the Field: Exploration of relevant topics, learning from experts, studying best principles and exploring common challenges.
  • Experiment Design: From Theory to Visioning: After learning together for a few months, each congregation team crafts an experiment/pilot proposal that challenges the engagement work being done in the congregation. With support and guidance of other members, the experiment's parameters are honed to ensure they include clear vision, goals, process and benchmarks for success.
  • Experiment Implementation: Getting Our Hands Dirty: In this phase of the curriculum, members launch the pilot in their own congregation, 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 have ample opportunity to share successes with the Movement-at-large, at URJ Biennials and other gatherings, on webinars and through the Knowledge Network.

Although URJ communities of practice learn, experiment and reflect together for 18-24 months, ultimately the process designed to serve as a catalyst for change, helping congregations transform into communities of belonging, meaning and purpose. The relationships that emerge from the communities of practice will last well beyond the formal assembly.

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