Posts Tagged: leadership

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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The Days of Awe, Community, and “Relational Judaism”



Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, a distinguished Hasid, told a parable about the Days of Awe of a man who is lost in the woods. Just when he is losing hope, he runs into another person and is filed with joy, exclaiming “Brother, tell me which is the right way. I have been wandering for days.” His […]

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Journal of Youth Engagement

MINCHA: Committing to the Whole Teen



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. By Ellie Klein Goldman In the fall of 2013 Temple Shalom in Newton, MA launched a new weekly program for 7th and 8th graders called MINCHA.  […]

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2013 URJ Biennial

Community and Leadership, Whether You’re at Biennial or Not



by Rachel Roth [Editor's Note: The following post was presented as a drash at an executive meeting of the American Conference of Cantors on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013.] One of the most interesting statistics that I found in the Pew Study is the somewhat low rate of importance of being part of a community as […]

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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 […]

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Let’s Talk Turkey: Thanksgiving Ideas for Congregational Boards



Thanksgiving is next month (or this month for our Canadian friends) and while it is not a Jewish holiday, you and your board can still use the essence of the holiday – giving thanks – as an impetus for recognizing the dedication of folks within your congregational community. Many congregations rely on the hard work […]

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My Experience as a URJ Intern



by Julie Wichler Eight summers of my life were spent at URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA. As both a camper and a counselor, I saw this place I love so much from both sides, and I still desire the feeling of “home” I get when I drive through the front gates on Brookside […]

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The Ice Cream Cone Approach to Youth Engagement



Recently, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of stories and photos of campers and counselors getting ready for their return to camp, their trip to Israel or their adventure with a service-learning program. I am so happy for all them. They are following a path that we, in the professional Jewish world, have […]

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Hard, Honest Questions



Will synagogues continue to exist in the future? Will the next generation engage in Jewish life? Is Reform Judaism still relevant? These hard, honest questions underlie the conversations we members of the URJ leadership team have every day with leaders and staff of Reform congregations.  Last week I was honored to be the ordination speaker […]

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From Sisterhood Leader to Rabbi



by Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker On Sunday, June 2, I attended the wonderful WRJ Centennial Symposium in NYC.  I was delighted to be with WRJ on this occasion because of my long and rewarding connection to Sisterhood. Among the superb presenters on WRJ history was my rabbinic school classmate, Rabbi Dr. Carole Balin, Professor of […]

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Hectic Times, in the Very Best Way



Despite the fact that summer, with its hopefully slower pace, is just around the corner, the last few weeks have been packed! At the end of April, I joined 117 congregational presidents who had gathered in Atlanta for the annual Scheidt Seminar, the URJ’s unique leadership training initiative specifically designed for current and incoming presidents. […]

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Two Friends, Two Synagogues, One Jewish Community



by Michele Gelman and Sheila Gold Michele Gelman is a native of New Orleans.  By comparison, Sheila Gold is a relative “newcomer,” having been actively involved with her congregation for only 23 years.  Despite this difference, these two women share many things:  friendship, commitment to their respective synagogues, devotion to the Jewish community, and a […]

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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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Jane Evans, of Blessed Memory – One of a Kind



By Rabbi Jan Katzew At the 100th anniversary celebration held in Cincinnati, OH, WRJ leaders were hosted for dinner at the American Jewish Archives. As we each were asked to introduce ourselves, I said that I felt it appropriate to bring another person into the room, someone not physically present, but whose presence helped to […]

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