We hope those of you who were at the URJ North American Biennial are enthused and looking forward to sharing what you learned with your congregations and peers. We in Outreach were excited to learn with you and look forward to working with you this year on your congregational Outreach efforts. Please be in touch with us and let us know how you are doing!
We are excited to share with you that this month, the URJ is highlighting the new Campaign for Youth Engagement (CYE), which has already committed $1 million for a focused, strategic effort to engage the majority of Reform Jewish youth by 2020. (Visit urj.org/cye to learn more about the campaign.) Youth engagement is essential to your Outreach efforts, and we encourage you to work to make sure that every child is welcome and counted in your congregation.
As most congregations begin financial planning in January, this issue of Talking Outreach provides you with a number of perspectives related to the financial support that makes our synagoguesand our Outreach effortspossible.
Rabbi Victor Appell
Marketing, Outreach and New Communities Specialist
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Lead Outreach Specialist
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Partner with the URJ on Your Next Membership Engagement Initiative
Would you like a $5,000 grant for your congregation? 19 congregations received URJ Incubator Grants last year to support innovative new membership engagement initiatives. The RFP for these grants generated creative thinking in hundreds of congregations. One category of this years grants focuses on creating a culture that supports and encourages conversion. Another new focus is on retaining youth and families post-bnei mitzvah. This grant category was added in support of the serves as one of the first steps of the newly launched Campaign for Youth Engagement. For a list of previous winners, grant criteria and to access the electronic application, visit urj.org/incubator. Applications are due by February 28. Questions? Contact Stephanie Fink, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Outreach and Membership Idea Book Volume IV contains Belin Award-winning cutting edge programs in Outreach and Membership, chosen from across North America. Discover programs that offer innovative ways to reinvigorate Outreach in your congregation, including imaginative full spectrum Outreach programs, engaging conversion candidates, a new model for interfaith couples groups and a program to build on the success of Introduction to Judaism. Learn about early engagement of unaffiliated young families, welcoming adoptive families and staying connected to 20s/30s, even after they move to the big city. Find new best practices on engaging members and baby boomers, as well as providing support to Jewish troops in the US Armed Forces. Get 10% off by using coupon code OMIB10Read more »
Explaining Synagogue Dues to Those Who Are New
by Vicky Farhi
Synagogue dues can be difficult to understand if you werent raised in a family that maintained a synagogue membership. Without knowledge of the variety of mechanisms that all religious institutions use to sustain themselves financially, some charge that synagogues require you to pay to pray. What follows is one way that you might explain synagogue dues to those who raise this objection. Read More »
Early Engagement Strategies Bring Big Rewards
by Vicky Farhi
When we discuss connecting those interested in exploring Judaism we often forget two pieces of the conversation: financial restraints and starting with early engagement of young families. In this article, we will learn how one congregation addressed both of those issues. Read More »