Toby Singer

Toby Singer

Inside Leadership
Two people's right hands clasped in a show of empathy or support

Part of the work of Audacious Hospitality is focused outward – seeking to include and integrate identities and experiences that are underrepresented in our congregations, communities, and camps. Audacious Hospitality also is about working to make those who are already in our communities feel more included, “seen,” and understood.

The URJ’s Belin Awards are designed to encourage and honor congregations of all sizes that have developed uniquely innovative and effective audacious hospitality programs. Among the 2017 Belin Awards winners are two communities that stand out for their...

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

In our increasingly mobile society, families often are spread across states and separated by many miles. Far from familial support networks, we seek community and connection in other places, including at work, at school, on sports teams, in clubs, and in our Jewish institutions.

The URJ’s Belin Awards are designed to encourage and honor congregations of all sizes that have developed uniquely innovative and effective audacious hospitality programs. Among our 2017 Belin Awards winners, two communities took different approaches to bring together members from specific age cohorts,...

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Group of people lighting Shabbat candles at a congregational Shabbat dinner

When it comes to the rhythm of the Jewish calendar year, Shabbat holds an esteemed position as a testing ground for experimentation in our synagogues. Thus, when it comes to trying out new programs geared toward inclusion and integration of the broad sweep of Jewish identity, centering them around Shabbat has distinct advantages.

It's repeatable: As our weeks spin, Shabbat comes again and again. A program need not be a one-time event. As Shabbat returns, the useful possibility of fine-tuning and improving the reach of an initiative through repetition exists. It has consistent... Read More

Headshots of Vanessa Hidary and Kendell Pinkney

The art of spoken word and monologue performance, drawing on the traditions of hip-hop, performative poetry, and theater, has always had the power to convey important messages to audiences. For Vanessa Hidary and Kendell Pinkney, their performative initiative Kaleidoscope uses this art form to center marginalized voices in the larger Jewish conversation.

For Vanessa, a Mizrahi Jew of Syrian origin, growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan exposed her to a variety of Jewish expression, encompassing food, language, and customs. Inspired by a diverse array of friends, a...

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Closeup of a man in a striped sweater with his hand up by his side as if pledging or making a promise

On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we set an intention of t’shuvah (repentance), to return back to our higher purpose and re-engage with our values. Each fall, as part of our annual, cyclical process, we find ourselves back here again, invited to acknowledge where we came up short: with God, with each other, and with ourselves.

Likewise, the work of Audacious Hospitality is not always a smooth road. It has potholes, sharp turns, and sudden weather obscuring the path ahead. And the systemic issues that we seek to address and correct don’t fix themselves overnight.

However...

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