Posts Tagged: technology

Eight Ways Your Congregation Can Be More Welcoming for the High Holidays



The High Holidays are a special time in the Jewish calendar, a time when many unaffiliated Jews (those who are not members of a congregation) may feel the need to connect to the broader Jewish community. Even if they don’t attend synagogue throughout the year, the High Holidays may inspire these individuals and their families […]

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It Takes a Village (and a Little URJ Help) to Build a Congregational Website



With people doing so much of their shopping online these days – for everything from clothing to electronics to groceries to books, and just about everything else – it’s become evident to my synagogue’s board that temple shopping begins online, too. Prospective members no longer wait to drop in unannounced at Shabbat services or attend […]

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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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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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Innovation, Exploration, and Evaluation: Touchstones for the Newest URJ Camp



On an institutional level, summer camp can model the values we hope to instill in our campers on a personal level. For campers to feel safe, we must use supportive and nurturing language. For campers to challenge themselves, we must provide opportunities, encouragement and confidence. And, if we want our campers to be innovative, we […]

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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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Tweets, Texts, and T’fillah



by Lauren Biletsky Cell phones and services: It’s often frowned upon when someone takes out their cell phone during services. Why? Well, let’s go back to the question of “Why?” Why what? Why are cell phones being taken out? Why is it frowned upon? And what are we doing on our cell phones? We’re using […]

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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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Tell Me Your Story



by Alan S. Halpern I confess to a prejudice. When a synagogue or church website proclaims, “We are a warm and welcoming congregation,” I am immediately skeptical. Why tell me you are warm and welcoming? Just be warm and welcoming. When I visit a friend’s home, my friends don’t claim to be warm and welcoming. […]

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Determining Your Communal DNA



by Lisa Colton What is a synagogue? A congregation? A community? We are more than a nonprofit organization, or a local center, or a collection of people who share certain practices or get together for holidays. It feels significant to me that words like “congregation” and “community” are grammatically singular but inherently refer to a […]

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Seven Tips for Creating a Congregational Privacy Policy



Every congregational website should have – and post in a conspicuous place – a privacy policy that clearly states how information gathered on the site is used and how visitors may contact the congregation for further information. Your congregation’s webmaster should be able to give you the technical information that is unique to your congregation. […]

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Hanging Out Around the Virtual Campfire



A group of five or six girls sitting around, talking, laughing to the point of tears. The scene could be anyone, anywhere, and it has repeated itself countless times over the years: on a bunk bed at Greene Family Camp, around the campfire under the stars, in dorm rooms, and now, a few years after […]

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Shabbat is a Time to Unplug



Shabbat is a time to unplug. Otherwise, there will be no Shabbat. Many, many Reform Jews have had no Shabbat for a very long time. Even when we want to be attentive to the holy, we can’t seem to do it. In our sophisticated, highly educated community, the pace of our lives has long been […]

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Unplugging, Relaxing, and Beating Boredom



by Tanya Schevitz Observing Shabbat was not something Sabbath Manifesto creator Dan Rollman grew up with and he wasn’t really interested in doing it in his adult life – until a few years ago, when he attended a weekend retreat to talk about making Jewish traditions and rituals relevant to a new generation. As the […]

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