Archive by Author

This Month in The Tent: Preparing for the High Holidays



The High Holidays are on their way, so before you head out for summer break, visit The Tent, the URJ’s online communication and collaboration forum, for a full list of tried-and-true High Holiday preparation suggestions, including these and other tips. Tickets: Provide all relevant information, including (as applicable) pricing policies for members and guests, distribution […]

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This Month in The Tent: Engaging Families with Young Children



“Sooner. Stronger. Deeper. Longer.” That’s the motto that guides Nancy Bossov through her work as an early childhood education and engagement professional. Now the director of early childhood education at Temple Israel in New Rochelle, N.Y., Nancy came up with this motto while serving as the director of early childhood education at the Board of […]

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This Month in The Tent: Being a More Welcoming Congregation



Membership specialists and committee chairs will tell you the three tenets of congregational membership are recruitment, integration/engagement, and retention. In all three areas, one key to success is making people feel like your congregation is a place for them – in other words, being welcoming. What, specifically, can you and your fellow leaders do to […]

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This Month in The Tent: Useful Mission Statements



A congregation’s mission statement is often one of its founding documents, setting forth a vision for the congregation and serving as a guiding document as leaders manage the sacred. Yet a lot can happen in 15, 50, or even 100 years, and so congregational leaders may wish to periodically revisit the synagogue’s mission statement as […]

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This Month in The Tent: Preparing for Passover



As your congregation prepares for Passover, find terrific holiday resources throughout The Tent, the Reform Movement’s communication and collaboration platform. In The Tent, you’ll find ideas, materials, and opportunities for clergy and lay leaders to share expertise and experiences about all facets of congregational life. This year, Passover begins on Friday, April 3. Because it […]

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Jewish American Heritage Month: A Time to Preserve Your Congregation’s Heritage



May is Jewish American Heritage Month, which is a great impetus to talk about congregational heritage preservation. These days, communities are rapidly changing and Jewish communities are no exceptions: Congregations that were once large and thriving now find themselves with dwindling membership rolls; meanwhile other congregations are experiencing unexpected growth and are faced with the […]

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Succession Management: Passing the Congregational Baton



According to transition expert William Bridges, change is situational; transition is psychological. This distinct difference is important to keep in mind as your congregation prepares for transition. Whether it’s transition from one rabbi to another (which we’ll use as an example here), from one board to another or some other change, Bridges’s teachings are easily […]

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The Muppet Leadership Path



Kermit the Frog had a dream to sing and dance and make people happy. He shared his dream with others and “found a whole bunch of friends who [had] the same dream”. So how did Kermit get all those friends to follow him to Hollywood and create a family? He led by example. This is just one leadership lesson we can learn from Kermit, Jim Henson and the whole Muppet gang!

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Building Consensus and Making Tough Decisions



As a congregational board member, you are, in many cases, charged with the task of deciding how to preserve your synagogue’s past, how to maintain the synagogue in the present and what to do to ensure its vitality in the future. This is important work, though it’s not always easy: Challenges present themselves regardless of […]

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Leadership: Take the Stairs, The Second Flight



Yesterday, we discussed James G. Clawson’s first three steps to effective leadership. To recap, steps one, two and three are: Clarifying your center; clarifying what’s possible; and clarifying what others can contribute. In Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface, Clawson highlights the following as the fourth, fifth and sixth steps toward effect leadership: Supporting […]

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Leadership: Take the Stairs



Led Zeppelin sing about a stairway to heaven but is there a stairway, or even a ladder or a step stool, to effective leadership? According to leadership expert James G. Clawson the answer is yes. In his book Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface, Clawson outlines what he believes are the six steps to […]

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Tips and Resources for a New Board Year



By now, you have probably reconvened your congregation’s board members, both new and veteran, and are continuing your work to strengthen and enrich your synagogue and its community. The Union for Reform Judaism is here to help you and your fellow leaders as you pursue the task of managing the sacred. One of the first […]

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