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January 2012 Outreach Newsletter

Partner with the URJ/Outreach and Membership Idea Book/Explaining Dues/Early Engagement

Union for Reform Judaism - Talking Outreach
Website | Subscribe | Donate January 12, 2012 | 17 Tevet 5772


Partner with the URJ»
Outreach and Membership Idea Book »
Explaining Dues »
Early Engagement »

Dear Outreach Chairs,

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 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 synagogues—and our Outreach efforts—possible.


Victor AppellRabbi Victor Appell
Marketing, Outreach and New Communities Specialist
Time Zone: Eastern

 ChernowArlene Chernow
Outreach Specialist
Time Zone: Pacific

Vicky FarhiVicky Farhi
Lead Outreach Specialist
Time Zone: Eastern

Stephanie FinkStephanie Fink
Outreach Specialist
Time Zone: Central
212.452.6792, T-Th

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 year’s grants focuses on creating a culture that supports and encourages conversion. Another new focus is on retaining youth and families post-b’nei 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  Applications are due by February 28. Questions? Contact Stephanie Fink,  

URJ Books and Music:
Outreach and Membership Idea Book Volume IV

Outreach and Membership Idea Book Vol 4The 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 OMIB10 Read more »

Explaining Synagogue Dues to Those Who Are New

by Vicky Farhi

Synagogue dues can be difficult to understand if you weren’t 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 »

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