By Leah King Kaufman, Moriah Benjoseph Nassau, and Gila Hadani Ward, 4/16/2019
The election or appointment of new board members provides a critical opportunity to set the tone for your leaders and your congregation. It is the moment to begin to build new habits and demonstrate that the privilege of board service can be both enriching and productive. Starting with an orientation gives board members a shared language and purpose, creating an energy that sets them up to do great work. Its value cannot be underestimated.
How can you ensure your board orientation is effective? Here are things to do before, during, and after a board orientation.
Before Your Board... Read More
By Rabbi Janet Offel & Julie Lambert, RJE, 8/17/2018
In a well-known and often cited exchange, the modern Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929) was once asked whether he put on tefillin (phylacteries). Rosenzweig famously responded, “Not yet.” His spiritual life at the time did not encompass this mitzvah of traditional Judaism, but his answer signaled an openness to something that, for him, represented an unexplored avenue for possible spiritual growth.
In the words of Dr. Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychology professor and researcher, “‘Not yet’ [signals] that you’re on a learning curve. It gives you a path into... Read More
By Rabbi Paula Feldstein , 6/28/2018
July 1st is a magical day in North American Reform congregations. If your congregation is undergoing a senior staff transition, it is likely the day you will welcome a new rabbi or cantor. New educators and executive directors often begin their term on July 1st as well. On June 30th one leader leaves, and on July 1st someone new begins.
It sounds so simple – like flipping a switch. But is it really?
According to William Bridges, in his book, Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, what happens on July 1st is change. Change is the... Read More
By Mark J. Pelavin, 9/19/2017
We are living in unprecedented times that are challenging us in exceptional ways. They’re also making congregational life and its sacred partnerships more vital than ever. The URJ’s partnerships with our member congregations are among our most valued relationships and in that vein, we are highlighting some timely tools and resources to help you enhance and enrich Jewish life in your community during this High Holiday season – and throughout the coming year.
Hurricane Relief: Although the wrath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has dissipated, countless individuals and numerous Reform... Read More
By Mark J. Pelavin, 9/18/2017
Although the wrath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has dissipated, countless individuals and numerous Reform congregations were affected by the storms, and their needs will continue for months to come.
Update: Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
We’re extremely grateful for so many donors’ generous support to the URJ’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (now closed), which was instrumental in supporting the work of URJ Greene Family Camp and our other community partners in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
These organizations are continuing to accept donations to assist Houstonians in... Read More