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November 22, 2014 | 29th Cheshvan 5775
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Engaging Families with Young Children
Synagogue leaders are searching for new and innovative ways to draw young families into the synagogue, often with the hope of renewing their congregation for another generation. We need to change the conversation to focus on building relationships with new parents. A family with young children has a real need for community and connection. At that juncture, we have a unique opportunity to draw the family into Jewish life through inspirational engagement. By establishing and strengthening personal relationships with FwYC we can increase engagement.

The Engaging Families with Young Children (FwYC) Active Learning Network will explore practical tools, resources and networking opportunities to help congregations understand, evaluate and re-imagine pathways to connecting FwYC with Jewish role models and with the Jewish community.

The framework for this ALN will be to understand the needs of parents and how they are directly related to member engagement. Making relationships central to this equation refocuses our priorities on the people and how they relate to each other, to the congregation and to joyful Jewish life.

Participation is free for URJ congregations. Registration for the current ALN cycle is now closed. Please check this page for any updates or for information about future openings.


The 4-month curriculum for this ALN will include six components:

  1. Four 20-minute pre-recorded Learning Broadcasts from URJ Expert Faculty Practitioners
    1. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Relationships and Base Support
    2. Rabbi Sam Joseph, Culture and Change
    3. Amy Asin, Experimenting and Measuring
    4. Being a Networked Congregation
  2. Four 60-minute live chat sessions with the URJ Expert Faculty Practitioners following the Learning Broadcasts
  3. Four Pre-Assignments for subject specific webinars
  4. Four 60-minute live subject specific webinars
  5. Reading material, resources and best practices provided throughout
  6. Opportunity to be paired with other congregations participating in the ALN


This session will begin the week of February 24, 2014 and conclude the week of June 9, 2014.

Sample 4-Week Schedule

The complete syllabus will be distributed to all participants in mid-February.

  • Week 1: Topic 1 - Pre-Recorded Learning Broadcast
    Watch the Topic 1 pre-recorded Learning Broadcast on your own time, whenever is convenient for you!
  • Week 2: Topic 1 - Live Online Chat
    Join our Topic 1 Expert for a live online chat session as (s)he answers all your pressing topical questions. The Live Online Chats will be held on a mid-week day at 1pm ET and 8pm ET.

  • Week 3: Topic 2 - Readings
    Explore this topic through reading hand-selected, relevant, and timely articles and studies, sure to help you better understand this subject area.

  • Week 4: Topic 2 - Live Online Learning Broadcast
    Live online Learning Broadcasts will be held mid-week at 1pm ET or 2pm ET.

Engaging Families with Young Children ALN Coordinators: Cathy Rolland, Stephanie Fink, Natalie Kianoff

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