As financial issues
continue to affect the world's economy, we recognize that, particularly in some
communities, it likely will have far reaching implications for congregations and
their members. And so, as families do during difficult times, the Union for
Reform Judaism is reaching out to remind you that, as always, we are available
to provide resources and assistance to support your congregation and members
during these difficult times.
The Union is a
"congregation of congregations," and so the issues that your congregation are
facing are also facing the Union. Key staff and lay leaders are currently
looking at projections for the current and next fiscal years, working to assess
the impact of the economy on the Union's budget, and to create responses based
on those assessments.
We are also aware
that the current economic situation will impact our members, the congregations
of the Union. Our challenge, as is yours, is to maintain service to our
constituents and stay true to our mission while adjusting to the current
economic realities. Please remember that your regional MUM representative is
always available to talk with you.
To help through
these times, we will be holding two webinars on Strengthening Your
Congregation and Helping congregants in Difficult Financial Times on
Wednesday, November 12. (See below for the call times and
specifics). Weve also added to the resources that we distributed in
September. On our Leadership web site you will find resources to help
the congregation as well as suggestions on what you can do to help your members.
Some of the highlights are listed below, and we hope you will share with us what
you are doing by sending ideas to us at URJ@urj.org.
Our tradition tells
us that all Jews are responsible for one another. This year, more than ever, we
hope our members will find the support they need in their synagogue community.
Help in these Economic
November 12 Webinars Rabbi Stacy
Offner, vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism, will host the calls with
our presenters, Ed Alpert, executive director of Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL and
president of the National Association of Temple Administrators, and Rabbi Edythe
Mencher LCSW, associate director of the Department of Jewish Family Concerns.
The calls will be on Wednesday, November 12. The first call
will be tailored to congregations with budgets below $650,000, and the second
will be directed to congregations with budgets above $650,000. Please feel free
to register for either call according to your schedule.
To RSVP for the
call and check to see that you will be able to view the presentation, please
To make the calls
as informative as possible, please send your questions in advance
to Paula Desrochers-Yakout at PDesrochers@urj.org by Monday, November 10.
Helping Your Members As Rabbi Edythe Mencher and Dale Glasser write in Resilient Congregations and Organizations, it is important
that congregations respond to their members in ways that encourage a sense of
hopefulness, calm and direction." Weve gathered from Union departments and from
congregations suggestions on ways to assist your
members. These include
Help for Your Congregation
As the impact of the current economic situation
becomes clearer, congregations should be reaching out to their members to remind
them of the synagogue's core values and their part in the community. At the same
time, congregations will want review their budget projections and make certain
their finances are in order while also working to help alleviate poverty and
homelessness in the community at large.
Program Guides, lesson plans and other items related to issues
of social justice
Guide to endowments, investments and synagogue funds
Issues Its also important at this time to make sure you are doing all you
can to attract, integrate and retain members. One the best investments you can
make: send your membership chair or professional to the intensive four-day
Alexander Schindler Membership Fellows Program in Cleveland
March 12-15. They will return with sure-fire ways to improve
the recruitment, retention and integration of members in your
Helping Others While we worry about how the economic problems will affect our
congregations and their members, lets not forget how helping others in our
community and across the globe.
Action in Action Gathered on a single web page for your
convenience, youll find information about fighting hunger, economic justice,
housing and homelessness and health care. There are lesson plans for your
school, Jewish texts and resources, fact sheets and more.
Malaria Bites. Bite Back! Grants are now available
to help your congregation plan a Nothing But Nets fundraiser or
advocacy event to purchase insecticide-treated bed nets to reduce the
transmission of malaria. Visit
the Unions Nothing But Nets site to apply for a grant, download
programmatic resources and toolkits or to order brochures, Bar/Bat Mitzvah
guides and t-shirts.
You are receiving this monthly message because you are listed in our
North American database as a lay or professional leader in your congregation, a
member of the North American Board of Trustees or a Regional Council, or you
have signed up for this list. If our information is incorrect, or if you do not
want to receive notices about programs that may be appropriate for your
congregation, please send a note to Emily
Grotta, director of Marketing & Communications.
Thank you for your assistance.