Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, announced today that April Baskin will join the URJ's executive leadership team as Vice President of Audacious Hospitality. Baskin's role is crucial to the ongoing implementation of the URJ's strategic 2020 Vision plan, and the final staffing decision within a realignment of executive roles that is structured around the 2020 Vision's core priorities of strengthening congregations, audacious hospitality, and tikkun olam (social justice).
Audacious hospitality is the URJ's focused effort to engage seekers - Jews who are unaffiliated, under-engaged, and, in some cases, uninspired - in the sacred work of creating a world of wholeness, compassion, and justice. Congregations and other Reform institutions can play an indispensable role in attracting and serving those looking for ways to connect with their Jewish identity.
As URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs put it recently, "No more than 50% of American Jews are members of synagogues at any one time. Unless we change our approach, there is little chance that Jews in their twenties and thirties will even enter the revolving door of synagogue affiliation. Hoping is not a strategy; the Jewish world needs new approaches for engaging the future. Together we will shape the strategies that will broaden and deepen our movement."