Posts Tagged: congregational life

The Future of Reform Judaism: How Can We Lead in Challenging Times?



This fall, the URJ’s Leadership Institute is offering a series of three sessions about key concepts that we hope will inspire sacred action within congregations. The series began with Allison Fine’s session about “matterness” and values alignment. The second session is hosted by Marty Linsky, who will discuss leading in challenging times at the URJ Biennial […]

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When Less is More: The Role of the Synagogue Executive Director



Job descriptions are important. They outline and shape the work to be done. In a temple, job descriptions ensure that lay and professional leaders understand responsibilities and roles. When I was an executive director, my job description was four pages long. Although routine and mundane tasks were explained in great detail, there were many things […]

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This Month in the Tent: A One-Stop Source of Ideas and Information for Congregational Life



With the High Holidays behind us, congregational programming is in full swing – and so is activity in The Tent, the URJ’s online communication and collaboration forum. Here’s a sample of the many interesting and engaging topics congregational leaders are chatting about in The Tent: In what ways does your congregation reach out to members […]

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8 Principles that Drive Strong Congregations



All congregational leaders are looking for the magic formula to success, the one that will ensure that their members are happy, engaged, and Jewishly fulfilled, and that their budgets are balanced. Though there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a few tried-and-true organizational approaches to strengthening congregational life – and we at the Union for Reform […]

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How to Organize a Hanukkah Bazaar



by Kay Schachter Hanukkah, which begin at sundown on December 6th, seems far off – but it isn’t too early for your congregation, sisterhood, or brotherhood to start planning a Hanukkah fundraiser. A Hanukkah bazaar is a great fundraiser; it also gets your congregants thinking about their Hanukkah shopping and can give an early boost […]

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URJ Leadership Institute: Sessions for Leaders Before, During, and After Biennial



All leaders have to learn to navigate between their organization’s overarching vision and the day-to-day needs of the community they serve. Congregational leaders must also be able to move from the mundane to the holy, and from management to leadership. This fall, the URJ’s Leadership Institute is offering a series of three sessions about key […]

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Three Innovative Congregational Initiatives that Use Tech as an Engagement Tool



As liberal Jews in the modern world, we are not only willing to engage with the modern world, but we embrace it. Utilizing technology as a means of learning, sharing resources, and building community has not only influenced how Reform Jews develop and express their Jewish identity, but has reinvigorated it. A number of Reform […]

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A Conversation with Leadership Expert and Best-Selling Author Chester Elton



Best-selling author Chester Elton is one of the world’s foremost experts on leadership and employee engagement. His books, co-authored with Adrian Gostick, have been translated into more than 30 languages and sold more than a million copies. He has served as a leadership consultant to organizations and major companies, such as American Express, AT&T, and […]

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Practicing Audacious Hospitality on Sukkot



I cherish the holiday of Sukkot. It beautifully encapsulates the quintessential magic of this bountiful time of year. We see that we can build a holy space with our own hands, and experience the pride, warmth, and contentment that welcoming people into our sukkah and wholeheartedly celebrating the holiday together engenders. Who will you welcome […]

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Our Second Annual Rosh Hashanah Sermon Round-Up



This was the year that Reform rabbis spoke about race. More than 200 rabbis participated the NAACP’s Journey for Justice, and it gave rise to some powerful sermons. (Read on for links to sermons by Eli Kramer and rabbis Biatch, Chasen,  Knight and Herzog Cohen, Miller, Perlman, Soffer, Spinrad, and Stein.) There were many more, […]

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Learning Opportunity: Closing the Gap between Good Intentions and Bad Results



This fall, the URJ’s Leadership Institute is offering a series of three sessions about key concepts that we hope will inspire sacred action within congregations. In this post, Allison Fine discusses values alignment and “matterness.” To learn more, listen to the recording of her session “Making People Matter – More than Just Something We Say.” […]

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What My Vacation Taught Me About Audacious Hospitality



by Frieda Hershman Huberman Vacation enables us to reflect, rejuvenate, recharge our batteries, and look at life from a fresh perspective – and sometimes, it’s the actual vacation experience itself that becomes a learning opportunity. While on a short getaway this summer, I gleaned new insights on audacious hospitality, one of the Reform Movement’s top […]

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14 Ways to Make Your High Holidays Services Accessible to Everyone



A sweet new year begins with audacious hospitality, making sure everyone feels welcome in the Jewish community. As part of High Holiday preparation, congregations can take a number of simple steps to help create an accessible and sacred space for people of all abilities so that everyone can fully participate. Ask people what they need. […]

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4 Ideas for Engaging Families with Young Children in Jewish Life



Every new parent understands the pressure and stress associated with finding the best ways to create a rich and fulfilling future for their children. Faced with societal expectations, money constraints, and more programmatic opportunities than ever for their young ones, Jewish life may not always make it to the top of the priority list. As […]

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