congregational life

congregational life

Block calendar that reads: July 01

Senior staff transitions within congregations often prompt a range of emotions for everyone involved. Here are four ways to make things easier for the entire community. 

Rabbi Paula Feldstein
The pall covering a coffin in the sanctuary of Temple Isaiah in Lexington, MA

When our congregation wanted a coffin cover for families to use during funerals, I was one of 11 women who answered a “calling all quilters” ad in the temple bulletin.

Martha Supnik
Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, z'l, speaking and the 2017 URJ Biennial convention

We don’t often think about how our synagogue leaders stay fueled and energized – especially if they themselves are sad and grieving – to take such good care of us.

Margie Freedberg Bogdanow
Three individuals as part of a larger group marching in some sort of event and carrying a sign that reads DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY MARCH PROUDLY

Through our work with congregations pursuing justice across North America, we have identified several principles that can help you strengthen social justice work in your congregation.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner & Amy Asin
Thats Love and Thats Not Love Post It boards as described in the essay

What became clear to everyone who participated is that this is an issue that needs to be talked about, and it’s something that our teenagers and their parents want to discuss

Rabbi Danny Burkeman
holistic youth engagement

When I started my job, I spent time getting to know families and what they wanted from educational experiences for their children and for themselves. It was clear there we needed a cohesive vision for lifelong learning, and unclear how learning and engagement were connected, if at all. Now, 3 ½ years later, we’re taking a holistic approach to Jewish lifelong learning.

Marisa Kaiser
Pink piggy bank sitting atop piles of money

When it is time to think about budgeting and spreadsheets, or when banks or interest rates are discussed at board meetings, I feel lost. And I hate that feeling.

Rabbi Jessica Spitalnic Brockman
Person with a pen in hand using a calculator

When I signed up for the URJ’s Congregational Finances Course to prepare for my new role as president, I never imagined I’d find sacred partnership in that online course.

Heidi Schell
Closeup of a mans hand reading Torah on a table outdoors

This is a well-planned class with amazing staff, and I feel like a completely different person from when I started it. 

Ken Freeman
Two people in shadow pushing puzzle pieces together with sunlight in the background

Every successful Jewish organization is jointly supported by both professional leaders and lay leaders, all working to serve the community’s members.

Jared Goldin