Skip Navigation
July 24, 2014 | 26th Tamuz 5774

How to Build a Congregational Blog

Behold how good and pleasant it is for people to dwell together. (Psalms 133:1)
 
Begin by assembling a team – a few people who are committed and knowledgeable about the idea and concept of creating online communities. Perhaps these are members of your congregation who already blog, people who write for a living, or just "opinion-makers" within your congregation. Ask them to commit not only to writing for the blog, but also to reading other posts and commenting. In essence, you are "seeding" your blog with "plants" who will begin the conversations and also invite others in. Try to find a diverse group of people and encourage them to share their work with friends and family. Ask them each to find 5-10 people within the congregation to whom they will email a link to their posts, and invite their comments directly. People tend to come when invited, but feel less likely to comment if not directly asked to do so.

One of the reasons that blogs have been so generally successful is that they offer regular people a chance to tell their stories. A congregational blog has the same potential. Each congregation is so full of stories, each person brings something in. How often do we offer our congregants a forum to tell their own personal stories? That's where the blog comes in. Invite your blog team to write their Story. Ask questions, give them topics. Some ideas might include:

  • How did you come to the congregation?
  • Favorite Jewish memory
  • My Bar Mitzvah
  • My Child's Bar Mitzvah
  • "Overheard on the way home from Hebrew School"
  • Trip to Israel
  • Visiting an out of town synagogue
  • Why I come to services
  • Why I don't come to service
  • What we ate for Shabbat dinner last week
  • A Great Article I Read in a Newspaper, Magazine, or Online

The goal, of course, is to write an engaging blog post that tells a story and also invites conversation. Different members of the congregation and its blog team might want to write different kinds of posts, encouraging a broad range of interaction with different populations within the congregation.

Congregational president: Share a congregational issue and ask people about a policy that you'd like to change. Do they want to change it? This might also be a way to take advantage of survey software that takes quick polls.

Social Action Chair: Share a particular social action experience that moved you, and ask others to share ways that they were moved or touched by participating in social action.

Worship Chair: Write about a prayer that you like and invite people to share their favorite prayers with you. Did something interesting happen at services this week? Was there a particularly good conversation at Torah Study?  

Religious School Parent: Spend a day in your child's classroom and write about the experience. Invite other parents to do the same, or to comment on their child's experiences.

Sisterhood/Men's Club President or Member: Write a review of an event. Welcome comments by others who participated and also ask a question that can be answered even by those who were not present. In this way, you can carry the conversation out beyond the event and into the rest of the community.

Library Chair: Review a book that had an impact on your life and ask others to share a book that touched them.
 
-- This article by Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, imabima.blogspot.com 
 

Comments left on this website are monitored. By posting a comment you are in agreement with Terms & Conditions.
 
Multimedia Icon Multimedia:  Photos  |  Videos  |  Podcasts  |  Webinars
Bookmark and Share About Us  |  Careers  |  Privacy Policy
Copyright Union for Reform Judaism 2011.  All Rights Reserved