strengthening congregations

strengthening congregations

People around a table eating

Teaching a recent cooking class in my congregation reminded me that even in the 21st century, there’s something unique, warm, and special about a synagogue women’s group.

Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro
A group of hands of people of all races

This Black History Month, we must remind ourselves that racial justice is a Jewish issue and join with Jews of Color and people of color to advance racial justice. 

April Baskin
Array of stopwatch, notebook, and documents

Learn some of the most valuable takeaways from my tenure as a congregation president so you can apply them – in whatever ways work for you – in your own community.

Amy Asin
Children with their arms around one another facing an outdoor bimah as at summer camp

As we continue this journey together in 2018, we look forward to your steadfast engagement, your activism, and your support.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Two people's right hands clasped in a show of empathy or support

Learn how two Belin Award-winning congregations worked to make those already in their communities feel more included, “seen,” and understood.

Toby Singer
Globe with a Band-Aid covering parts of North and South America

When the Union for Reform Judaism offered a community of practice called “Bringing Justice to the Center,” it was an entree into social justice work for our congregation.

Rabbi Suzanne Singer
Overhead shot of full plenary hall at URJ Biennial 2017

Learn about the creative ways one congregational leader is bringing the energy and lessons from the Biennial home to her own synagogue community.

Bayla Lovens
Purim Together participants -- a student and a senior -- together

In an increasingly mobile society, families often are separated by many miles. Far from family support, we seek community elsewhere, including in our Jewish institutions.

Toby Singer
A row of hanging lightbulbs, one of which hangs lower than the others and is illuminated

Learn what happened when members of the URJ Strengthening Congregations Team were challenged to experiment with an innovation of their own – and what made it a success.

Lisa Lieberman Barzilai and Gila Hadani Ward
Group of people lighting Shabbat candles at a congregational Shabbat dinner

Shabbat holds an esteemed place in our synagogues as a testing ground for experimentation. Centering new programs around Shabbat, therefore, offers distinct advantages.

Toby Singer