strengthening congregations

strengthening congregations

Hand adding a star to an ascending arrangement of stars

The sacred and complex relationships inherent in synagogues means they need to review and evaluate clergy and professionals differently than other organizations.

Lisa Lieberman Barzilai, RJE and Rabbi Janet Offel
Kelly Whitehead smiles at the camera with one hand on the back of her head and a nature scene behind her

I am a queer Jewish woman of Color, and it is impossible to separate all of my intersecting identities.

Kelly Whitehead
Amy Asin standing at a podium addressing the URJ Biennial

"I’m here to tell you that we – as a Movement, as leaders of Reform congregational life in North America – are going to have to want change, want to change, and all of us will need to lead that change."

Amy Asin
People taking a smiling selfie in front of a Biennial backdrop

With the 2019 URJ Biennial in our rear-view mirror, we’re now focused on how we can move this work forward and into our everyday lives. Ready to act? Here's how.

Mark J. Pelavin
Closeup of a Torah unscrolled on blue fabric

Rabbi Adam Fisher's group has met every single week for 30 years in a row. To learn more about this incredible accomplishment, I spoke with Rabbi Fisher about these weekly Torah study sessions and what they mean to him and his community.

Chris Harrison
Woman laughing while holding a microphone and speaking in front of a small group

The URJ offers a range of leadership development opportunities, so there’s sure to be something suitable for every leader in your congregation.

Amy Asin
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