Welcome to the Tent!

For some time now, you may have been hearing about The Tent, our new online communication and collaboration platform for the leadership of the Reform movement. We are pleased to announce that during the next few weeks, you will be invited to join the community of Reform Leaders actively using the Tent online collaboration software to communicate, collaborate and share with other leaders throughout the Movement.

For many years, the Reform movement has relied on the Shamash listservs, including PresConf, NATANet, RavKav, iWorship, and others. Reform Judaism has moved forward, often powered by the conversations and resources we have shared over these email lists. However, since Shamash is preparing to cease operations in the months to come, the URJ has developed this new technology resource to provide even more capacity for collaboration and research. In addition to vibrant online conversations in The Tent, we will also have a state of the common in other forms of social media today. All content will be easy to search for and easy to share. This is an exciting innovation for us all, and we look forward to having you join the conversations and add to the resources in The Tent.

The Tent will be comprised of a series of different sites. Some sites will be sponsored by our partner and affiliate organizations, and will only be available to those who belong to those organizations. For instance, only Rabbis will be invited to join the CCAR site, only Cantors will be invited to join the ACC site, and only Executive Directors and Administrators will be invited to join the NATA site. There will also be a series of open sites where all members of The Tent will be encouraged to participate.

Framed in the context of the teaching of Pirkei Avot 1:2 which tells us that the world is built upon three things, Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasidim, we will offer three sites. In the Torah site, we will share information and discuss issues relating to worship, education, and music. The Avodah site will focus on temple administration, communication and finance, and the G’imilut Chasidim site will focus on issues relating to social action and our affiliate organizations (such as Women of Reform Judaism, Men of Reform Judaism, etc.) We will launch other private and open sites as well so that all leaders in the Reform Movement will have a place to share and connect. The Tent will be evolving depending on the needs expressed by the community. We look forward to seeing YOU in The Tent.

You will soon be getting information on how you and other leaders in your congregations will access The Tent. In the meantime, please be sure to visit the Knowledge Network booth in the Kikar at the 2013 URJ Biennial in San Diego where we will be giving demonstrations of how The Tent works and answering all your questions.

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Larry Glickman

About Larry Glickman

Larry Glickman, FTA, is the director of Network Engagement and Collaboration for the Union for Reform Judaism. Prior to joining the URJ in April 2013, Larry worked as a synagogue executive director for 10 years, most recently at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL, and served as a board member and officer for the National Association for Temple Administration. Before working in the Jewish community full time, Larry served as the youth group advisor at Congregation B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL, for 9 years while working full time in the publishing industry. Larry lives and works in Buffalo Grove, IL, with his wife Lynn, and they have two daughters, Eliana and Sophie.

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