For congregations that are interested in making full-time youth and early education a priority.
The URJ nurtures innovation among congregational leaders around topics of shared interest, using a number of cohort-based learning modalities.
Communities of Practice (CoP) convene cohorts of congregational leaders for long-term (typically 12-24 months), innovative learning about a topic of shared interest. Each congregation involved has a leadership team comprised of professionals and lay leaders. Participants complete an application form, are interviewed, and sign a brit (covenant), indicating their readiness and willingness to undergo an intense process.
In a CoP, participants learn from experts, including opportunities to ask big questions, and share ideas and best principles. The curriculum includes face-to-face and virtual gatherings, e-learning, and coaching from URJ staff. Using lessons learned, participants design experiments for their own congregations through which they learn to take risks, benefit from successes and challenges, and evaluate and share their results.
Active Learning Networks (ALN) engage congregational leaders in a network in order to deepen their thinking about their practice in a particular area of congregational life. The group convenes every 4-6 weeks through virtual calls. Participants network and share experiences and challenges they are experiencing in their own communities. Whereas in CoPs, each congregation participate as a leadership team, in ALNs the threshold is lower and individuals can sign up without other leaders from their congregation.
Topics of previous cohort-based learning opportunities include early childhood and youth education, engaging adults, social justice, and governance and finances.
For any questions about URJ cohort-based learning initiatives, contact Rabbi Esther Lederman, URJ Director of Congregational Innovation (ELederman@urj.org).
A program bank for congregational b'nai mitzvah innovations, derived from the URJ B'nai Mitzvah Revolution.
Report of the URJ Census on Supplementary Education
Reimagining Financial Support for your 21st Century Congregation
A report from the 2013-2015 Community of Practice
Engaging Families with Young Children
Findings from two 2013-2015 Communities of Practice.
Strengthening Congregations Symposium: A Supplement and Discussion Guide
Engaging Young Adults: Paving the Road to Meaningful Young Adult Engagement
Findings from the 2013-14 Community of Practice and interactive workbook.