Judaism is not only the adherence to particular doctrines and observances, but primarily living in the spiritual order of the Jewish people, the living in the Jews of the past and with the Jews of the present Our share in holiness we acquire by living in the Jewish community. What we do as individuals is a trivial episode; what we attain as Israel causes us to become a part of eternity.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel
The celebration of Shavuot has passed, but the profound message of the Book of Ruth is relevant every day of the year for those of us responsible for congregational Membership. Ruth became a part of history, of eternity, in part because she freely chose to become a part of the Jewish people. Our work enables us to offer the gift of sacred community to all. The New Member Workshop Series and Mosheet Yad: New Member Ambassador Program are two valuable resources that will enable you to give that gift.
This month, the URJ is highlighting its many resources for Welcoming Diversity, an area of congregational life that is of particular importance for Membership chairs. Indeed, the purpose of all our work is helping people find a community that values them as unique and diverse individuals. Visit urj.org/diversity for information and resources.
The story of Ruth would never be possible without Naomi who became her teacher and her door into the community. As we welcome new and diverse members, remember that just joining our congregations isn't enoughmembers need ways to connect into our culture and to develop personal relationships that are essential to life long membership.
Just a reminder that the monthly Membership Newsletter will be on hiatus for the month of July. Enjoy your summer and we'll be back in touch in August!
Union for Reform Judaism
Ways to Educate, Inspire and Engage New Members
New Member Workshop Seriesis a program that connects new members to our congregation through meaningful study and group discussion about Judaism, community and themselves. It takes place over the course of two months and offers five workshops, one Shabbat evening and an opportunity to work on a group social action project. This is a profoundly relational way to bring new members into your community.
Mosheet Yad: New Member Ambassador Program presents a new vision for Membership integration for congregations of all sizes. Meaning extending a hand, Mosheet Yad develops a connection between the newer congregants and the community in three stages: personal connection, connection to the mission of the synagogue and an introduction to reciprocal responsibility.
Both the above programs enable those new to your community to go from unfamiliar guests to active participants and future leaders who understand the meaning of community and find value and relevance in congregational life.
Grant OpportunityNational Center to Encourage Judaism
The NCEJ will pay half of the cost of your advertising in the secular press, up to $1,200 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!