strengthening congregations

strengthening congregations

Temple Beth El members and friends participating in a gay pride parade

Belin Award-winning Temple Beth-El in San Antonio, TX, applied the idea of breath and soul (nefesh) to monthly learning opportunities around social justice themes.

Chris Harrison
Trophy on its side with confetti spilling out

Meet eight award-winning congregations that have developed innovative programs rooted in the concepts of audacious hospitality that also engage and retain members. 

Chris Harrison
Young couple and their children lighting the Shabbat candles together

Throughout the course of 12 years, Temple Shalom in Succasunna, N.J., experienced a number of hardships, ranging from financial difficulties to a decline in membership. As it turned out, though, the thing that would inspire this community to thrive once again was, well, the very community itself.

Chris Harrison
Rabbi Daniel Kirzane and another man sitting at a table with a sign that reads Oak Park Temple Bnai Abraham Zion an Inclusive Jewish Community

How do you lead a congregation and create cohesive community when your synagogue exists between two distinct communities? That was one of the challenges facing Oak Park Temple, which sits between the west Chicago suburbs and the northwest part of Chicago in the suburb of Oak Park, where more young families are increasingly relocating

Chris Harrison
Young children waving Israeli flags on the stage in a synagogue social hall

Until recently, engaging Jewishly has not been easy for Israelis in Santa Barbara, CA, where religious life and Jewish identity are quite different than back home.

Chris Harrison
Lightbulb hanging upside down against a sparkling background

Engagement is truly about putting people – not institutions – at the center of what we do by actively listening to them and meeting them where they are. Here, we share six innovative congregational initiatives – two in each of these three areas – to inspire you in the new Jewish year.

By Amy Asin and Rabbi Esther Lederman
Old fashioned red alarm clock with white face and bells on top against a turquoise background

Congregational leaders do more than worry about the challenges they face; there’s joy, holiness, and excitement in the work, too. So, what gets them out of bed each day? 

Michael H. Goldberg and Larry Glickman, FTA
Blue key on computer keyboard that says Code of Ethics in white letters

The Union for Reform Judaism encourages congregations to develop and implement a code of ethics that everyone must abide by to participate in the community.

Dr. Steve Weitz
Hand dropping a ballot into a ballot box in front of the Israel flag

The World Zionist Congress elections are coming soon, and your congregation’s participation is critical to maintaining a large Reform presence in Israel and here at home.

Alexandra Gilbert
Smiling female rabbi holding a guitar and facing a congregation

As the High Holidays are approaching, we know your congregational leadership is working hard to prepare for a meaningful holiday season.

Daphne Macy