Large group of smiling teens wearing matching blue shirts that say OMGJK

When I arrived at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, FL, six years ago, the congregation’s junior high and high school programs were dealing with a problem that m

Josh Simon
Blond woman facing a flowchart covered in data and PostIt notes

This congregation grew by 11 percent. It must’ve been doing something amazing, right? I dug deeper into the data about this congregation – and was surprised by what I found.

Maxie Kalish
Preschoolers and a few adults sitting on the steps of a bimah

When 13 congregations joined the URJ Full-Time Early Education Community of Practice (CoP) to learn, experiment, and network together, these were the takeaways.

Nancy Bossov, RJE
The author holding a Torah scroll on the bimah of Temple Emanu-El in Dothan, Alabama

The headline alone told me the story in The Washington Post would be about Temple Emanu-El, the congregation in Dothan, AL, where I had served as the rabbi for 10 years.

Rabbi Lynne Downey Goldsmith
Golden retriever dog

Like the pied piper, Betsy the dog led us cheerfully into the sanctuary, and as her owner walked up onto the bimah with her, the younger kids automatically followed. 

Deborah Rood Goldman
Unlit white memory candle in a glass votive against a black backdrop

The whole memory book project was transformed before our eyes. What was originally considered to be merely office minutia and fundraising became what it truly was: sacred work.

Rebecca Carlson
Alarm clock on dresser; woman awake in bed in the middle of the night

As a leader – volunteer or professional – in a synagogue, what keeps you up at night? What do these concerns tell us about the contemporary Jewish landscape?

Michael H. Goldberg
Closeup of a handshake between two men

Leaders at almost every synagogue would say their congregation strives to be a welcoming community. The challenge, of course, is how to put that into practice.

April Baskin and Carly Goldberg
Welcome written on a wooden sign with flowers

My congregation received a grant to help with advertising costs for A Taste of Judaism® course and it has transformed my work to welcome people to the Jewish community.

Rabbi Ethan Bair
Male and female graduating NFTY seniors with their arms around one another while wearing college tee shirts

As Jewish communal leaders, we can help guide these young people toward fun and meaningful Jewish experiences, no matter where their paths take them.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Evan Traylor