Parents of today's young children (age 0-6) have many choices when seeking out deep and meaningful community connections. One option is to engage with a synagogue community, which can be a gateway to lifelong Jewish commitment for parents and their children. Most important, forging deep, strong and long-lasting Jewish connections can be done well by congregations without early childhood centers (preschools).
The URJ Successfully Engaging Young Families Community of Practice brought together congregations interested in starting or significantly enhancing their efforts with this cohort from January 2013-June 2014. It was comprised of twelve congregations that shared a concern and passion for young family engagement and sought to advance current strategies. Through active participation over the 18-month process, the leaders learned together about key challenges and opportunities of engaging families with young children, studied best principles from across the field, and identified and executed a pilot experiment to scale-up their efforts.
Topics covered include
- Road Map for Managing Congregational Change
- Building a Base of Support
- The Art of Having Coffee
- Setting the Climate for Congregational Culture
- Best Principles of Existing Models
- Visioning and Mission Development
- Social Connection and Social Networking
- Drafting and Implementing an Engagement Initiative for Your Congregation
- Creating Metrics for Success
- Sharing Measurable Results Widely