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May 2011 Membership Newsletter

Engaging New and Current Members/Grant Opportunity from National Center to Encourage Judaism

Union for Reform Judaism Membership News
Website | Subscribe | Donate May 18, 2011 | 14th Iyyar 5771

Outreach and Membership - Inviting Jewish Choices and Strengthening CommunityDear Membership Colleagues,

“The only thing that endures over time is the law of the farm: I must prepare the ground, put in the seed, cultivate it, weed it, water it, then gradually nurture growth and development to full maturity. There is no quick fix, where you just move in and make everything right.”

-Stephen R. Covey

The “law of the farm” applies to our work in Membership as well! There is no shortcut to the life cycle of Membership. If we only attend to recruitment, we fail to connect and engage our new and current members. If we do not pay attention to retention, we risk losing long time members. Attending to all three aspects of Membership means nurturing the community and bringing the sacred into congregational life.

Look to Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA, whose programs, Learning Synagogue Geography and Prepare to be Awed, are highlighted below, for fresh ideas regarding how to put the “law of the farm” into practice in your congregation.

And this month, as the URJ highlights its many Israel-related resources, think about how you can help your members strengthen their relationship with Israel. Visit urj.org/Israel for more, including replicable Israel programming ideas.

We are now in the period of counting the Omer, the days between Passover and Shavuot. In Hebrew, omer means sheaves of a harvested crop. Taking care of and nurturing our members leads to a sacred harvest for our congregation. Let us both count and value every sheaf!

L’shalom,,

Kathy

Kathy KahnKathy Kahn
Membership Specialist
Union for Reform Judaism
212.650.4231
kkahn@urj.org



Engaging New and Current Members

Both of the award winning programs below come to us from Congregation Beth Israel, San Diego, CA, and can be found in the Outreach and Membership Idea Book, Volume III.

  • Where am I???: Learning Synagogue Geography
    This program offers an opportunity to engage both prospective and long time members by offering them the chance to learn little known facts about the synagogue and spend time with their rabbi and tour guide!
  • High Holy Day Preparations: Prepare to be Awed!
    Congregants prepare for the High Holy Days with help from this Membership-sponsored program. It brings new and current members together to show them how to maximize their spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days, and offers participants a chance to make a personal connection with clergy and other new and current members.

Find both of these programs in the online Membership program bank.

Grant Opportunity—National Center to Encourage Judaism
The NCEJ will pay half of the cost of your advertising in the secular press, up to $1200 twice a year, for programs that welcome the unaffiliated, Jewish or not, and invite them to attend beginner-level programs about Judaism. Hosting a class or program for those interested in Judaism is an effective way to invite new members into your community!


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