congregational life

congregational life

Cardboard cutout of house held up by hands; sunlight streaming in the windows

Although my wife and I relocated to southern California three years ago, we left many friends at our “former synagogue,” although I do not like referring to it that way.

Jared Goldin
Closeup of a man with a hand to his ear as if listening

As Jewish leaders, we are tasked with improving our congregations and communities for everyone within them; listening to our members’ feedback, requests, and concerns, with the intent of understanding them, is the first step in the process of making improvements. 

Chris Harrison and Deborah Niederman, RJE
Target with arrows in many places, but not in the center

If we want to renew and reform Judaism now and into the future, we must create congregational cultures in which failing is accepted.

Rabbi David Fine and Rabbi Esther Lederman
Visitors viewing an exhibit at the museum

For decades, the Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot has gathered resources that tell the story of the world’s Jews. Now, add your community to the collection.

Shulamith Bahat
Three white paper airplanes flying straight and one yellow paper airplane veering off course to signify change

While not everyone goes through all five stages or in experience them in order, they are useful in understanding the range of emotions and mindsets people may experience when dealing with change.

Rabbi Paula Feldstein
Group of songleaders sitting outdoors at a summer camp holding guitars and wearing all white as if on Shabbat

With this in mind, here are the voices of two of our campers – both going on the Harlam in Israel trip this summer – on what the culture of camp has done for them. They are our songleaders and our youth group and confirmation class leaders, and they inspire our kids in so many ways.

Rabbi Yair Robinson
Pair of hands, palms upward with red, heart-shaped objects in the palms

A culture of philanthropy focuses on our sacred responsibility to provide Jewishly meaningful experiences that place the donor – not the congregation – at the center.

Rabbi Louis Feldstein, Michael H. Goldberg, and Robin Riegelhaupt
Somewhat abstract image of the inside of a large pipe

Here are some useful answers to one of the questions congregational leaders ask most: “How can we find new leaders?”

Lisa Lieberman Barzilai, RJE
Hand holding a stopwatch

To ensure your new board gets up to speed effectively, here are things to do before, during, and after a board orientation.

Leah King Kaufman, Moriah Benjoseph Nassau, and Gila Hadani Ward
A row of black pencils, points upward, with one taller yellow one in the middle

As a rabbi, I ruminate over these questions: What should synagogue life include? What should comprise a fulfilling year in the life of a synagogue?

Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel