Audacious Hospitality

Audacious Hospitality

Smiling group of learners listen to an educator give a lesson at the front of a room

The URJ has long created opportunities to learn about Judaism through A Taste of Judaism® and Introduction to Judaism classes, making Jewish learning accessible to those seeking to learn more.

Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg
Bright lightbulb against a yellow background

As 2019 comes to an end, we’ve rounded up the top 10 congregational concepts that will continue to be valuable to your work in the coming year.

Daphne Macy
Chalk drawings of arrows pointing forward as if it to indicate progress

People with disabilities and mental health conditions, and those who love them, just want what everyone else wants – to belong.

Shelly Christensen
Kelly Whitehead smiles at the camera with one hand on the back of her head and a nature scene behind her

I am a queer Jewish woman of Color, and it is impossible to separate all of my intersecting identities.

Kelly Whitehead
Rustic looking welcome sign hanging from twine

Learn how Beth El Congregation in Harrisonburg, VA, maintains the tradition and spirit of welcoming the stranger that the URJ calls "audacious hospitality."

Mary Handley with Michele Braun
Two women holding hands under a chuppah as a rabbi officiates over their wedding ceremony

Temple Emanuel of the Merrimack Valley in Lowell, MA, won a 2019 URJ Belin Award for its LGBTQ+ “Uninitiative,” a series of audaciously hospitable actions to welcome and support the congregation’s LGBTQ+ community. 

Chris Harrison
Temple Beth El members and friends participating in a gay pride parade

Belin Award-winning Temple Beth-El in San Antonio, TX, applied the idea of breath and soul (nefesh) to monthly learning opportunities around social justice themes.

Chris Harrison
Trophy on its side with confetti spilling out

Meet eight award-winning congregations that have developed innovative programs rooted in the concepts of audacious hospitality that also engage and retain members. 

Chris Harrison
Young couple and their children lighting the Shabbat candles together

Throughout the course of 12 years, Temple Shalom in Succasunna, N.J., experienced a number of hardships, ranging from financial difficulties to a decline in membership. As it turned out, though, the thing that would inspire this community to thrive once again was, well, the very community itself.

Chris Harrison
Rabbi Daniel Kirzane and another man sitting at a table with a sign that reads Oak Park Temple Bnai Abraham Zion an Inclusive Jewish Community

How do you lead a congregation and create cohesive community when your synagogue exists between two distinct communities? That was one of the challenges facing Oak Park Temple, which sits between the west Chicago suburbs and the northwest part of Chicago in the suburb of Oak Park, where more young families are increasingly relocating

Chris Harrison