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5 Great Deals and Discounts Your Congregation Can Only Get Through the URJ



Calling all congregational leaders! Are you interested in ways to enhance the day-to-day operations of your sacred institutions, improve efficiencies, and reduce expenses? Through the Union for Reform Judaism’s Congregational Benefits and Services program, URJ member congregations have access to meaningful discounts on a number of products and services at discounted prices. These deals, available […]

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Seeing is Believing: Visual T’filot and the Future of Jewish Worship



Rabbi Lance Sussman, the senior rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA,  wrote a piece published today in eJewish Philanthropy titled “Seeing is Believing: Visual T’filot and the Future of Jewish Worship.” He begins, Three years ago, my synagogue agreed to install large retractable screens on either side of the Ark and […]

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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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Don’t Forget: February is “Strengthening Congregations Webinar Month”!



As you may know, February is “Strengthening Congregations Webinar Month” here at the URJ. At the halfway point, more than 300 congregational leaders have joined live webinars to learn more about what makes a congregation strong and how the URJ is evolving to help you become or continue to be a strong congregation. The feedback […]

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This Month in The Tent: Planting Seeds for the Future



As Tu BiSh’vat approaches, The Tent, the Reform Movement’s communication and collaboration platform, offers resources to help you plant seeds that will bear fruit long into the future, enriching your congregation and the Jewish world. Engage young adults. Although young adults are the future of Jewish life, engaging them in congregational life can be a […]

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The Tent: Helping Jewish Leaders Look Through New Prisms



Leading a congregation can be a daunting task. Whether you lead your congregation as clergy, professional staff, or lay leadership, we all do our sacred work through different prisms. We work through the prism of spirituality. The Torah and other teachings of our ancestors guide our communities with holiness and wisdom. We work through the […]

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Back to the Future: An Update on “Unplugging” at Camp



Walk into any cabin at GFC and it’s a scene from Back to Future: campers have taken to the games like fish in water. There is laughter, healthy competition, camaraderie and good old fashioned fun.

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What Makes for Great Prayer?



by Rabbi Dan Medwin Last week, I was given a wonderfully challenging task as the CCAR rabbinic staff member at the NFTY Convention:  Take fifty participants from the Youth Engagement Conference and a two-hour prayer lab session, and plan multiple services for about 900 NFTY Convention participants.  While seemingly impossible, I jumped at the opportunity.   […]

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Where Prayer is Spine-Tinglingly, Bone-Shakingly Inspiring



At home, we sometimes used to struggle to feed balanced meals to our three teenagers. Imagine trying to feed 1,000 as these Jewish teens sat together to for Shabbat dinner. And that was only the beginning. We are gathered at a hotel in Los Angeles for the NFTY Convention, perhaps the largest Jewish teen gathering […]

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A Blizzard Shabbat in the Eye of the Storm



by Rabbi Jeffrey Brown Our temple, in the southern Westchester County suburbs of New York City, first began addressing the implications of the forecasted blizzard (Winter Storm Nemo) during the day on Thursday, February 7th. Our weekend schedule was to have included 8pm Erev Shabbat services on Friday night, a Shabbat morning service and b’naei […]

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Temple Sinai of Glendale Goes Solar



by Maggie Freed Climate change is the greatest challenge our earth faces—and the longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to turn it around. Scientists agree that we are causing extreme weather by our greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from burning coal. If we don’t get serious about it, island nations will disappear, coastal […]

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Making the New Holy



by Rabbi Gary Glickstein Rav A.I. Kook, the former Chief Rabbi of Palestine, often remarked that our role as Jews is to fulfill the vision that “The old shall be renewed, and the new shall be made holy.” (Letters vol. I, p. 214) Last month The New York Times reported on a high-tech High Holiday […]

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Using Technology to Advance Social Action



by Leonard Slutsky In the story of Exodus, Moses advocated for freedom for the Israelites from Egypt. As a shepherd, his repertoire was limited to his staff and the Lord’s word. Not only was his trek treacherous, hiking through miles of desert, the first nine plagues failed to free the Jews. However, when the Israelites worked […]

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Introducing the Social Media Policy Workbook for Jewish Organizations



In just a few years, the use of social media has gone from being the exclusive domain of a few innovative organizations to a required aspect of any organization’s communication plan. One of the greatest challenges, and what has kept many synagogues from greater engagement with social media, has been the lack of guidelines. With […]

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