Learn more about this exciting new platform, where Reform congregational leaders connect with colleagues and peers who have similar concerns, interests and responsibilities.
Editor's Note: This roundup, intended for congregational presidents, is part of a series of pieces that curates coronavirus response resources for specific congregational roles. Additional pieces in this series are available for clergy, executive director and temple administrators, ECE directors and educators, and K-12 educators.
In these unprecedented times, you’re likely receiving a bombardment of information, resources, and ideas. To help you keep it all straight and find what you need, we’re keeping this ongoing list of URJ resources that may be particularly useful to as a congregational president.
He hosted three special URJ Conference of Presidents Calls recently to offer congregational presidents across the Reform Movement the opportunity to discuss coronavirus response.
The recordings of all calls are available in the Presidents’ Lounge in The Tent. The next URJ Conference of Presidents Call will take place in June. Information will be posted in the Presidents' Lounge as well.
Every day brings updated information from the CDC, which requires making continual decisions about what can continue as-is, and what must be canceled, postponed, or re-tooled.
Through it all, continue to root decisions in your congregation’s mission and core values, as you would any other time. Especially in challenging times, your foundational statements can help you focus and remind you of the ideas that guide you as a community.
We've been hearing similar questions from many of you. To help you navigate the universal questions arising in this unique moment, we shared a three-stage framework that congregational leaders have found effective in navigating this situation so far, and resources to help in each stage. The stages cover safety, logistics, and community-building. It's important to remember that the stages are not linear and you will move back and forth across them.
Additionally, join us on May 21, 3pm ET for the URJ webinar "Reimagining What's Possible - The Next Phase in a COVID-19 World." Together, we'll discuss how congregations can imagine the possibilities of a hybrid society, experiment and innovate, and rebuild for new realities.
Congregational presidents and other synagogue leaders are involved in conversations and resource-sharing in various groups within The Tent. For presidents, we recommend the Presidents Lounge and Safety and Security group; search for #Coronavirus and #Covid19 to find resources from across all groups in The Tent. Among resources currently available in The Tent is a recording of a URJ call with Dr. Betsy Stone – a retired psychologist, current adjunct faculty at HUC-JIR, and dynamic speaker - about the psychological impacts of coronavirus on ourselves and our communities.
If you’re not yet in The Tent, we encourage you, and other leaders in your congregation, to set up your account now.
Most meetings and events are taking place virtually right now, and the URJ offers discounted licenses for livestreaming through Streamspot and virtual meetings through Zoom. To learn about these services – and other discounts available to URJ member congregations – visit the Reform Movement Marketplace group in The Tent.
If you do not yet have the technical infrastructure to facilitate online work, we encourage you to look at how these platforms can help your community stay connected and continue to create social and spiritual closeness despite physical distance. The recording of this URJ training on Zoom can be a helpful place to start. Additionally, you can learn how to create polls on Zoom, to enable voting during your leadership meetings.
Never tried livestreaming? Check out this step-by-step “how to” guide.
Looking for something more specific or want to review everything we have to offer? Check out “How Reform Congregations are Coping with COVID-19 (and Tools to Help),” which is being updated as new resources become available.
Let’s join virtual hands of support and remember the text from Deuteronomy Rabbah 1:10: “A community is too heavy to carry alone.” Together, we will make it through these difficult times and will find ourselves and our communities to be stronger for it.