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Inside Leadership
Group of songleaders sitting outdoors at a summer camp holding guitars and wearing all white as if on Shabbat
Pair of hands, palms upward with red, heart-shaped objects in the palms
Rabbi Jonah Pesner at the 2019 Consultation on Conscience
A row of black pencils, points upward, with one taller yellow one in the middle

What should synagogue life include? What should comprise a fulfilling year in the life of a synagogue? I ruminate over these questions.

A full answer certainly includes celebrating the liturgical calendar year of Shabbat, holy days and festivals; marking the sacred lifecycle moments of those in our communities, birth, b’nei mitzvah, marriage, mourning, illness, recovery, achievement and setback; adult education, social action, social justice, community care,...

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Outline of a person pushing against falling dominoes

Most congregational leaders – when seeking to adapt their congregations to current realities and in order to bring in new members and/or create a sustainable financial situation – ask what new programs they should add or what new outreach they should do. As part of these generative conversations, it is also critical to ask the question: “What should we stop doing?”

In order to free up resources to do new things, you must either raise more funds, train more volunteers, or find something to stop doing. Simply layering more work upon overburdened clergy, staff, or volunteers won’t...

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Contacts: URJ: Lauren Theodore, 212-650-4154 BimBam: Dan Cohen, 510-465-8294

APRIL 2, 2019 - ReformJudaism.org, the Union for Reform Judaism’s flagship educational website reaching more than three million visitors annually, will steward all digital storytelling content produced by award-winning digital studio BimBam beginning April 2.

Founded by Sarah Lefton in 2008, BimBam (founded as G-dcast) was inspired by her journey to become a self-educated Jew. Out of...

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Professional headshot of HUC JIR President Andrew Rehfeld smiling in a blue suit

Today marks the first day of my tenure as the thirteenth president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the first day of what I hope will be a magnificent journey together.

I am humbled and honored to have been called upon by the HUC-JIR Board of Governors to lead this institution’s sacred mission and look forward with great excitement as we forge ahead together, honoring our history while approaching our future with imagination, creativity, and spirit. I commit to doing so through a collaborative, transparent model of leadership...

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Three Israeli wedding couples under the chuppahs at Washington Hebrew Congregation on March 26, 2019

This past week, I spent a significant amount of time thinking about love.

My week began at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, where I joined with many of my rabbinic and cantorial colleagues and members of all ages from our Reform Jewish community alongside 18,000 other activists who also love Israel deeply. That love was on display each time we cheered, for the Israeli scientists who launched the Beresheet lunar lander on its way to the moon, for the inspiring music of Koolulam, and for the range of Israeli, American, Canadian, and international political leaders at all levels of...

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About Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership, the blog at URJ.org, is a source for Reform Jewish leaders to get the latest news and though-provoking articles about Jewish communal life.