strengthening congregations

strengthening congregations

Two smiling tween girls with I LOVE CAMP written on their cheeks in face paint

In today’s world, congregations’ mission statements have to include a clear statement of why we need worship, education, and a communal Reform Jewish experience.

Amy Asin
Shir Ami board of directors

Eager to know why our congregation exists, I posed these questions to my board: Why did you join Shir Ami? Why do you remain a member? What could Shir Ami do better?

Sharon K. Benoff
Tot Shabbat attendee with his father's hand on his head for a blessing

Tot Shabbat was always part of our synagogue programming, but often ended with kids running laps in the sanctuary. Our clergy team strived for something better.

Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg and Cantor Katie Oringel
Circle of arms with their hands in a pile on the center as if to celebrate teamwork

Throughout the years, the URJ has learned that questions about congregational governance keep congregational leader

Amy Asin
Two hands, each holding a puzzle piece, coming together

In congregations, deep relationships between lay leaders and professionals carry a unique element of holiness. Here are four ways to nurture these sacred partnerships.

Lisa Lieberman Barzilai, RJE
Pair of hands holding a row of paper dolls in shadow in front of bright sunshine

Learn how Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX, successfully uses small groups to help members connect and engage with others in the synagogue community.

Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen and Barbara Hyman
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
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
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