"To my mind the many helpful conversations in The Tent communities make it a valuable resource for active volunteers and synagogue professionals alike." – Jeff Spees, technical committee volunteer, Congregation Beth Sholom (Anchorage, AK)
Since its launch in 2014, The Tent has served as communication and collaboration platform for lay and professional leaders of URJ-affiliated congregations. There are many reasons for both veteran and rookie leaders to take advantage of this dynamic “public square” of the Reform Movement, which has grown to almost 15,000 users.
Here are 10 reasons you’ll want to be in The Tent:
1. You’ll never have to feel alone in the congregational work you do.
Because of their focus on the tasks at hand, leadership teams sometimes forget that in our Reform Movement, there are 850 other treasurers, programming vice presidents, education chairs, and other leaders who have the same questions you do.
By availing yourself of the expertise in The Tent, you become part of a network of leaders who can offer each other valuable, time-saving advice and support.
2. You’ll learn from the experience of others.
Whatever the problems or challenges your congregation might be experiencing, you can bet you’re not the first to face them. Come to The Tent, ask your question, and review a robust history of resources and conversation.
3. You’ll sleep better.
If you find yourself awake late at night with a sudden burst of inspiration or a nagging concern about your congregation, you're probably not alone. Other leaders are probably awake, too. In The Tent, where you’ll find a wonderful place of community, solidarity, and solutions.
4. You’ll find a wealth of information and inspiration.
Every discussion group in The Tent has a file library, and every file library has crowd-sourced information as well as curated content from the URJ, ranging from temple policies, forms, and bylaws to Shabbat bulletins and informative articles.
5. You’ll get a broader perspective of the Movement’s concerns.
To see every public group post in The Tent, click on the “Home” icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and then just scroll. You’ll get a good sense of the issues and concerns that have animated conversations within our Movement since The Tent’s inception in 2014.
6. You’ll form new friendships and relationships with people you might not have met otherwise.
By sharing experiences and expertise with other temple leaders in The Tent, you’ll not only be more informed and effective in your work, you’ll expand your network of people who share your interests and goals.
7. You’ll learn to collaborate with generosity, transparency, and empathy.
When you engage with a community of users in a transparent way, reveal setbacks as well as successes, and generously share resources and ideas, the trust you build will bring many rewards in return.
8. You’ll stay up to date on URJ news, announcements, and projects.
The URJ shares news and information in The Tent as part of an ongoing conversation. We encourage users to share this information with your networks.
9. You’ll learn new ways of working.
If you are ready to move beyond email chains and file revisions, the URJ can create a private collaboration space for you in The Tent at no additional cost. It will enable your leadership teams to engage in conversation, share files, save valuable information and resources, and be a more transparent and more effective organization.
10. You’ll find that The Tent is inclusive.
Whether your congregation consists of 10 or 1,000 households, has a budget surplus or is struggling to make payroll, you’ll find ideas, solutions, and inspiration in The Tent. We are stronger together.