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October 6, 2015 | 23rd Tishrei 5776
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Congregational Databases

How to Choose a Database?
Synagogues looking to implement a new system have a number of options on the market. In hopes of more clearly defining synagogues' specific needs and the ability of the current marketplace to meet them, UJA-Federation of New York convened an advisory consortium to address a common concern about what synagogues currently need to support operations and how synagogues can use database systems to support engagement and strategic decision-making. This consortium included the national staff and representatives of Union for Reform Judaism, National Association for Temple Administration, the North American Association of Synagogue Executives, Orthodox Union, and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Idealware was selected as an independent third party, and developed a report that reflects their research and findings. The recommendations and findings in the report are based on Idealware's research and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the consortium.

UJA-Federation of New York funded Idealware's large-scale research project into constituent management systems—those traditionally marketed to synagogues and from other sectors—comparing their features and seeing how they might help synagogues both meet their current needs and prepare them for the future.

A Guide to Synagogue Management: Research and Recommendations

Download Guide

The full report includes methodology, findings, a profile of each system, the full requirements document, an apples-to-apples comparison of nine systems particularly useful for synagogues, and thoughts for investors in the space. Using this research, synagogue leaders can learn how to

  • compare different systems to each other,
  • evaluate what your synagogue needs from its database management system,
  • think about pricing, and much more.

Congregational leaders are cautioned against taking immediate action based on the report as the work of the advisory consortium will continue, which will result in further recommendations for system selection.


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