experiments, instruments & measurement book

Non-Profit Narishkeit: The Life and Times of an Intern in the Non-Profit Jewish World

Non-Profit Narishkeit: The Life and Times of an Intern in the Non-Profit Jewish World
Posted by Ben Alpert in Uncategorized

Week 2: Sorry, Staples

By Jonny Gottlieb

Hello again, old friends. So this week with the mugs under control, I now had the confidence to tackle anything that came my way. Next up was ordering a poster from Staples.

Once upon a time I thought of Staples as an ally. A place where I could go to relax. Every September, before the school year started, my mom and I would begin our ritual of purchasing hoards of unnecessary school supplies to last me through the year and beyond. If you can’t already tell, a big theme in my life is desk paraphernalia (I’m really fun). Anyways, so my new project was ordering a poster to be used in a meeting the next day. I figured this would be easy. It’s my old stomping ground. I’m in my element.What could go wrong?

Well, what could go wrong is hypothetically not fully understanding how to order said poster via email. And, hypothetically, having to email back and forth with the “Copy Center Team” so many times that even though it’s supposed to read as if it was automated, you could tell their emails were beginning to get snippy.

I eventually got an enthusiastic “Thank You!” from CC1574 and I was off to go pick up my creation. After the initial confusion of my name not actually being “The Jewish Education Project”, I was eventually handed the right poster. The only problem was that it wasn’t mounted on anything. And that the order couldn’t be rushed in time. And that the Copy Center Team seemed to be in as bad of a mood in person as they were electronically. After momentarily worrying about the future of this poster, and by default the future of all Jewish Education, I realized I probably had enough artistic ability to buy a poster board and finish the job myself.

I rushed back to work and began to cut and paste. After an undisclosed amount time I produced a poster any Copy Center would be proud to call their own. But just as I thought the excitement of the day was over, I was informed that Tuesday’s big meeting would be overshadowed. The first strategy discussion to reach out to next 50 congregations would take place right afterwards.

On Tuesday I was to help set up for the first meeting. This mostly involved getting assorted dressings and juices on my clothing. That’s all part of the give and take of Jewish non-profits. I put in tens of minutes of work setting up and got two whole meals for free.

My only worry was that after this all-day meeting with various speakers and tons of delicious food, everyone would forget about my clearly more important meeting. This was my big break and I wasn’t going to let any amount of quinoa salad get in my way.

Quinoa, the newest addition to my ever-growing list of nemeses

Quinoa, the newest addition to my ever-growing list of nemeses

By the time 4 o’ clock rolled around I was amped and ready to go meet. I saddled up my notepad and walked into the conference room determined to participate to the best of my abilities. While it turns out my verbal contributions were limited to opening and closing mumblings and the chewing of chocolate bars, I sat and listened and learned a lot. As a group we (they) went through what had succeeded and failed in the past, and brainstormed about what exactly it would take to get new congregations on board. I nodded and laughed at all the right times and as the meeting wound down I was given instructions on how to help move forward with the research. I left the room excited and nervous for the task at hand, but I knew I had lots of support and already felt like part of a solid team. We could totally take on those guys at the Copy Center.

God Talk

Posted by Ben Alpert in Uncategorized

By Susie Tessel

Traditionally, talking about God whether in the classroom or from the pulpit has been a difficult subject to broach.  As a result this topic has been neglected or ignored.  Spirituality is very important, as the number of visits to ashrams has proven, among many other indexes.  Regardless, we as teachers have felt unsure about discussing God.

One of the many things I love about the concept and execution of Whole Person Learning is the insistence of including the concept of Believing along with what we want our learners to be able to Know, Do, and Belong.  We as Jews, have to include the concept of Believing in our curriculum.  In my monthly teachers’ Network, I inserted a component about which we explored an aspect of “God Talk.” with a variety of practical ideas to get our educators and their students thinking about God.  The more one confronts, ponders, and considers what one’s personal thoughts are about the concept of God, the more comfortable and open one is to the possibilities.

Our job is to provide opportunities for our learners to explore a variety of  “God Talk” experiences.  I introduced the first “God Talk” discussion in our monthly Network meeting on Parshat Noach.  In that week’s parsha, the Torah describes “God walked with Noach.” To me that notion resonated deeply with me.   I envisioned them walking hand and hand having a serious heart to heart about the state of mankind. But, that was my idea.  Others would no doubt have a very different take on it. Where did they go? What did they speak about?  If you could show God one thing what would it be?……I proposed that the educators around the room could have a Think/Write/Pair/Share or a Gallery Walk to get used to the idea of sharing…..and then perhaps write a journal entry to record their ideas.

I really begged the groups’ teachers to try this activity.  There was some discomfort, but I exacted promises to at least give it a go!!  Sadly, the next time we met, I was greeted by a downcast educator. Let’s call her Beth.  Beth said, I have fourth grade, and I thought they were too young….  But, I decided to try it any way….so, I asked my fourth grade where would you take God, and one girl said the Mall.  The Mall!!!!!!! She said indignantly!!  I set it up like you suggested, and this little girl came out with the mall. “   So, I said, well, what about the Mall did she want to show God?  Did you pursue her response with any probing questions?”  “No” she said, “I was so disgusted, I just dropped it.”  I stepped in and advised her to speak to this young lady privately next time, and see what she says.  I reminded her that this is a process, the more one thinks about the topic, the richer the answers will be.  The group probably never thought about God before in a directed manner.  Beth, went back, and the next month when I saw her, she arrived very early, and bounded into the room and said, “OMG, you were so right!! I asked the girl why she wanted to take God to a mall, and she said she wanted to show God the clothing bin to help poor people on the side.  So, I had her share her remark, and other kids started sharing what they would show God.  It was amazzzzing!!! “  I stopped her on the spot, and told her, I wanted her to share her story and her enthusiasm with our group.  After she shared her story, we all clapped.  Others shared their successes.  They described how some kids wanted to show God examples of something beautiful in Nature they were grateful for, others wanted to show God food shelters, or coat drives…..  They walked out saying- “I love this God Talk!!

Non-Profit Narishkeit: The Life and Times of an Intern in the Non-Profit Jewish World

Non-Profit Narishkeit: The Life and Times of an Intern in the Non-Profit Jewish World
Posted by Ben Alpert in Uncategorized

By Jonny Gottlieb

Hello to my future dedicated and loyal readers. I was asked to start a blog detailing my experiences as an intern at The Jewish Education Project, the organization I’m working for this summer. The Jewish Education Project (don’t even think about calling it JEP) is a non-profit dedicated to innovation and reform of Jewish education for all ages. After learning of my placement in the Congregational Learning Department, I worried that the fact I hadn’t been to shul since last Yom Kippur would finally come back to haunt me. I was quickly relived to learn that the organization was staffed by all types of Jews, and I would be accepted with open arms, no siddur aptitude test necessary.

Before getting into the details of my riveting work as an intern, I’ll introduce myself a little bit. I just finished my junior year at Vassar College and moved all the way from Westchester to the East Village for the summer. To answer your question if I know what I want to do post-grad or if I have a good chance of finding a job, I will simply share with you the fact that I’m an American Studies major focusing in Sociology and Women’s Studies. Feel free to draw your own conclusions. After spending every summer since 3rd grade at Camp Ramah, I was shocked to find out that “winning Yom Sport” was not resume appropriate and realized I eventually had to bite the bullet and enter the “real world”.

Participating in the classic Jewish tradition of faux-sumo wrestling as the general of my team.

Participating in the classic Jewish tradition of faux-sumo wrestling as the general of my team.

My first foray into this alleged real world turned out to be working for a literary PR firm booking radio interviews. While pitching to hosts named Tootie in Kansas on behalf of self-published “inspirational” authors was great, I found myself longing for something more. I realized that if I wanted to even somewhat enjoy a 9-5 desk job I had to work for an organization that I believed in. That way my contribution, no matter how small or tedious, would at least mean something. If not for anyone else, at least it would mean something for me.

Fast forward to my first week at The Jewish Education Project. I went into the job knowing that I would be mostly doing intern-y things so I prepared myself for just that. Clerical work, filing, getting coffee. No task would be too mundane.

To my surprise, on only the second day I was informed that I was to be assigned a project. To me the word project meant something big, something real, and oh boy was I ready. I couldn’t believe that I was being trusted with a task so hypothetically important this early on. I must have given a better first impression than I thought.

Me, doing something important.

Me, doing something important.

Sitting at my desk I began day dreaming what this mystery project would entail. Would I be promoted to “Project Manager”? Would I get a clipboard? After lunch my supervisor came over and revealed that my career-making project was, in fact, to order mugs. And just like that, my fantasy of personalized office supplies went up in flames.

I only let myself be disappointed for a moment before I decided that these would be the best mugs anyone has ever ordered. The colors would pop. The ceramic would glisten. Who was I to decide what role I was going to play in the future of Jewish education? At this moment my role was mug-orderer and I would fulfill my task to the best of my ability.

As the week went on I did get more responsibilities and more projecty projects. Aside from legitimately helping out around the office, I’m now in charge of researching fifty new congregations for The Jewish Education Project to reach out to and start working with. Not to mention this blog. But that’s the beauty of a job you believe in. Even the minutia, the frustration, the disappointment, is all but a small sacrifice for a cause bigger than any of us. Thanks for reading and don’t worry, I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the status mugs.

Jonny  is a member of  the CLIP internship program through the Brofman Center for Jewish Student Life at NYU.

‘Family Time’ Hebrew School

‘Family Time’ Hebrew School
Posted by Ben Alpert in Uncategorized

Upper East Side temple’s alternative Masa program offers parents and kids flexibility and togetherness.

By Julie Wiener, Associate Editor, New York Jewish Week

Masa families learn and play together as part of new Hebrew school model.(Photos courtesy of Shaaray Tefila.)

Masa families learn and play together as part of new Hebrew school model.
(Photos courtesy of Shaaray Tefila.)

Edward Schnitzer remembers his father dropping him off every week for Sunday school and hanging out at the men’s club while the kids sat in a classroom.

“I don’t remember any of it with the family together,” he says.

But for his daughters, who are 10 and 7, Hebrew school is family time: Schnitzer and his wife, Cindy, join the girls in Shaaray Tefila basement social hall for two-and-a-half hours, usually on Sundays. Together with about 30 families, they participate in the temple’s Masa program of activities and discussions, singing and sitting together for a prayer service in the sanctuary.

Masa, an alternative track within the Upper East Side temple’s religious school, appealed to the Schnitzers not just because of the family togetherness, but because, with fewer sessions required than the traditional program, it’s convenient.

“It seemed to be a little more interesting than regular Hebrew school and it fits better with modern kids’ schedules,” Cindy explains, noting that were it not for Masa, her older daughter would have to come in twice a week. Instead, she participates in the family sessions and schedules a weekly one-on-one Hebrew-tutoring session provided by the temple.

With technology enabling 21st-century families to customize seemingly everything in their lives, and with Jewish education just one of many priorities in most households, part-time religious schools are struggling to compete for time and attention. Masa (Hebrew for “journey”) is one of many new efforts to offer more options and flexibility, with the goal of making Hebrew school more convenient, flexible and meaningful for busy kids and their families.

We want Judaism to be something that is valued and manageable, and not in constant conflict [with other activities]. We also want to have parents involved and to build community.
Mindy Davids, director of religious school and educational innovation at Shaaray Tefila

Masa, which started five years ago, grew out of Shaaray Tefila’s participation in Re-imagine, a UJA-Federation of New York  initiative, and its successor Lomed, which is run out of the The Jewish Education Project Also known as the Coalition for Innovating Congregations, LOMED provides consulting, grants, networking opportunities and other assistance to help area congregations (more than 50 currently participate) share information with one another and make their religious schools more engaging and effective.

Like Masa, many of the new models emerging from LOMED offer a more flexible, customized and, at times intimate, experience that gets kids out of the classroom.

Community Synagogue of Rye developed a “havurah” option, in which small groups get together in people’s homes or other places outside the synagogue. Queens’ Forest Hills Jewish Center is experimenting with a “concierge” model, in which staff members meet with each family to learn about family members’ interests and needs, then introduce them to like-minded congregants and appropriate Jewish activities. North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, L.I., created “Mosaic,” an alternative track in which, in exchange for participating in an array of family projects and temple activities, kids can go to Hebrew school once, rather than twice, each week.

However, Lomed’s focus is less on structures and scheduling, than on “whole-person” learning; programs and individual lessons are assessed based on how well they affect a child’s sense of “knowing, doing, believing, valuing and belonging.”

The emphasis is on helping kids and their parents experience Jewish life, forge a sense of community, and apply Jewish values and teachings to their day-to-day lives, rather than just learn about them in class.

On a recent Sunday, families in Masa’s “Mitzvah Corps” cohort (another cohort, called “Celebrations,” meets at a different time) are gathered in the temple’s basement, an air-conditioned oasis from the unseasonably hot and humid weather outside.

A music teacher leads the group in singing “Mitzvah Goreret Mitzvah” and discussing its meaning — taken from Pirkei Avot — that one good deed leads to another good deed, while one trespass leads to another. Each family then participates in a game, in which players have to match Torah texts on little slips of paper to related mitzvot (like caring for the earth, visiting the sick or “making Jewish food choices”) illustrated on five posters taped up around the room. Each poster represents the book of the Torah where the text is found.

“We don’t expect the kids to know what book of Torah the quote comes from, but the exercise reinforces that the mitzvot are grounded in text,” explains Sarah Lauing, who coordinates Masa.

During the activity, some parents join in with their children, while others shmooze with one another.

While most of the Masa time is spent with parents and children together, the program also has “parallel learning,” so that participants can discuss texts and concepts at an age-appropriate level.

Currently offered for kindergarten through fourth grade, Masa is expanding to include fifth grade next year, and Shaaray Tefila is trying to decide whether to continue it into middle school. Thirty percent of families with children in the Masa grades opt for the program. Tuition is the same as for the traditional Hebrew school, although it costs the synagogue more to operate.

“If you count the parents as learners, we’re serving more people for less money,” Davids says. “But if you don’t count the parents, it costs more per student.”

Masa families meet two or three times a month, and while the majority of sessions are on Sundays — the Mitzvah Corps track runs in the late afternoon to accommodate families that go to a country home on the weekends — several sessions throughout the year happen on Shabbat.

Because of its relatively large size (240 children in grades k-4 alone), Shaaray Tefila is able to offer a menu of choices that a smaller program would not be able to support financially or have a critical mass of people to make practical.

Within Masa, families can select from two tracks to accommodate different interests and schedules. “Mitzvah Corps” focuses on learning about and performing various mitzvot. The other track offered this year, “Celebrations,” focused on Shabbat and holidays. Other tracks have included “Jewish New York,” in which families learn about New York Jewish history and visit various sites, and “Family, Friend, Foe,” focusing on what Bible stories and other Jewish texts teach about these different kinds of relationships.

Even families that opt for the regular Hebrew school rather than Masa, can decide between a Sunday morning and Tuesday afternoon schedule, or a Monday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon one.

The scheduling options make Hebrew school easier to balance with other commitments, parents say.

Michele Kahn and Eileen Levy, who participate in Masa with their 10-year-old son Aaron, say they joined the program because “we thought it would be nice to do something Jewish as a family” and because Levy wanted to make up for not having attended Hebrew school as a child.

However, “part of the reason,” Kahn says, is the scheduling. “There are so many activities for kids nowadays. This made sense for us as a family.”

An abundance of options can sometimes undermine a sense of community, however, with some Masa parents worried that at all-synagogue events their children don’t know the kids who are in the traditional Hebrew school program.

Other parents say that Masa’s intimacy and parental involvement has made it easier for them to make friends than it would be if they were just dropping their kids off each week.

Another issue besides community is the question of whether children get a consistent or rigorous education.

Because it meets relatively infrequently, Cindy Schnitzer notes, “When you miss a week or two because you’re out of town you miss a huge chunk. You lose a bit of the structure and consistency. But it more than makes up for it otherwise.”

Seth Nadler, who participates in Masa with his son and daughter, says he likes the program, particularly because “we met a lot of people we wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

However, he is “not sure” his children are “learning the fundamentals.”

Towards the end of the last session, when parents meet in the Shaaray Tefila sanctuary to give feedback and ask questions, several ask if their children are covering all the same material as their peers in the traditional Hebrew school.

Davids responds that “it doesn’t correspond exactly,” but that children who participate in Masa through fifth grade will come out with roughly the same skills and knowledge as those who participate in the traditional program.

The meeting winds down when the children, who have been in a separate activity downstairs, begin filing in, squeezing in next to their parents on the pews.

Laminated prayer cards are passed out, and the group begins a short worship service, starting with the song, “Hineh Mah Tov.” Roughly translated, it means, “How good it is when brothers and sisters sit down together.”


Published at New York Jewish Week on 07/03/13

How Do You Sustain Innovation?

Posted by Ben Alpert in Uncategorized

By Cyd Weissman, orginally posted on eJewish Philanthropy

New questions have to be answered at every stage of the innovation cycle. Nine years ago, when we set out to transform the synagogue school from a place that teaches “about Judaism” to the headwaters for lived Judaism, we asked: “What capacities does a synagogue need to make change?” Since then The Jewish Education Project in partnership with The Experiment In Congregational Education has been uncovering answers to questions like “How do you break the mold? What’s it take for innovation to spread? How do you assess success?” Now that congregations have actually created innovative models of learning and assessment we have a new question. Over fifty synagogues in NY, known as the Coalition of Innovating Congregations, are asking: “How do we sustain innovation?”

The literature on sustaining innovation is depressing. According to business and educational studies, the majority of innovations sprout long enough to be seen as the next good thing only to be devoured by organizational stasis. To stave off the mighty lion, the status quo, we are learning to use a worthy weapon: Results. Have them. Share them. Hit the head and the heart.

To master the art of reaching the head and heart of stakeholders you have to work at the nexus of evaluation and marketing, a zone where most congregational leadership teams don’t dwell. I confess, neither do I; but we’re learning.

Stories to the Heart

This past week close to 150 clergy, educators, teachers and lay leaders from The Coalition of Innovating Congregations gathered at City Winery in New York City to sharpen their skills in communicating the results of educational innovations (e.g. models that are more camp than school, learning in the city and home instead of the classroom, Shabbat family celebration in real time).

Deborah Grayson Riegel, an international communications expert, helped us speak to the heart. “Know your audience,” she instructed, “think through what you want your stakeholders to do, to know, to value and connect with.” So, team members from Community Synagogue of Rye, for example, spoke about wanting financial support from their Board for their model of small group home learning, family holiday gatherings and Skype Hebrew. Temple Beth Sholom of Roslyn – who have an “everyone is a mentor and everyone is a mentee” model that includes regular family Shabbat celebration – talked about needing to impact prospective parents. “We ask a lot of families [to participate]. And for them to say they want to participate, they need to see what can result.”

To move Board members and prospective members to action, Grayson Riegel said stories told from the heart would go to the heart. Getting the punch in the punch line requires a certain kind of story telling. So each congregation used a template for storytelling highlighted in Jonah Sack’s book, Wining the Story Wars, called the Hero’s Journey.

The template helps the listener follow the learner through struggle and eventual triumph in a way that is memorable and deeply moving. The congregations also watched a three-minute video that illustrated the Hero’s Journey at one of our congregations, made using the template:

The video capture’s Zoe’s remarkable story, and showed how this young teen was able to overcome an immense challenge with the help of Kane Street Synagogue’s L’tzedek Model, where children turn learning into social action as a compass for their daily lives. Zoe’s story, one of many, goes right to the heart.

Headlines from The Coalition of Innovating Congregation’s Stories:

  • security and relationships with a caring mentor
  • helping others through social justice
  • found a place to belong
  • Noah blossomed into his own person
  • Became a mentor to other youth
  • Gained self confidence and a sense of responsibility
  • They are always asking: what more can we do?
  • He found a community
  • He performs mitzvoth that speak to him and are relevant to his life
  • Emily said she felt more like herself here

Data to the Head

When battling the status quo, stakeholders also want to see the cold hard facts. Congregations have needed to develop their ability to collect the facts and then beautifully and thoughtfully present them.

When congregations are putting energy into creating new models and using new methods of education design and assessment, it is easily understood why they wouldn’t have the energy for collecting data. And yet, we know it is essential. So we created tracking tools that congregations use to collect data over time. These tools then equip the congregations to mark over time things like how many children/families participate in an innovative model; how many hours of professional development educators participate in, and what percentage of children continue post b’nei mitzvah from an innovative model vs. the traditional Hebrew school model.

Our experience shows that it is very hard to get agreement on what data will satisfy stakeholders. However, maybe not surprisingly, one result that is shared by many congregations is how well a child and family will be connected to one another and to the congregation. To this end, we created a survey that measures this outcome. Over a dozen congregations, across movements, have administered a “connectedness survey” three times during the last two years. This survey measures the growth and change in families’ connections to one another, and to the congregation. Congregational teams analyze the results, with support from our staff, and are able to show stakeholders the difference between connections expressed by families in their new model vs. the traditional Hebrew school model.

What’s next?

Once you collect the data you need to present it powerfully. As of June 1, we are posting tools that enable congregations to use their stories and their numbers effectively. We are posting on innovatingcongregations.org a tool kit that includes ready made “press releases” and “presentations” that wrap around their hero’s journey stories and collected data. This tool kit includes a two-minute movie, ready for viewing now, used by Coalition Congregations to communicate the unique value of their innovations.

The work we face now is to sustain the innovations. Boards and lay leaders need to say yes to resources. Families and learners need to say yes to engagement. To do this Coalition congregations are innovating in one more area: Communicating Results to the Head and the Heart.

Cyd B. Weissman is Director of Innovation in Congregational Learning at The Jewish Education Project. She works to reshape the landscape of Jewish Education in New York. Cyd teaches Curriculum and Assessment and Organizational Change at Hebrew Union College’s School of Education in New York. Follow her blog at livinglomed.blogspot.com.

The groundbreaking work of The Coalition of Innovating Congregations is enabled by generous funding by UJA Federation of New York.

What Forms of Challenge and Support Create an Ongoing Commitment to Excellence and Innovation?

What Forms of Challenge and Support Create an Ongoing Commitment to Excellence and Innovation?
Posted by icadmin in Uncategorized

By Cyd Weissman


Meet an Innovator: Suri Jacknis

Meet an Innovator: Suri Jacknis
Posted by icadmin in Uncategorized


Suri Jacknis is the Associate Director of the Department of Congregational Learning at The Jewish Education Project where she works to spark, support and spread innovation in congregational education. Her work includes consulting to innovating congregations, building and supporting networks that connect participants to learn from and with one another and serves as a mentor to educators working in 21st century models.

Her dedication to a career in Jewish education began as a teenager and includes serving as Director of Professional Learning and Director of the Jewish Education Resource Center for SAJES, central agency for Jewish Education on Long Island where she directed the Morasha Teacher Preparation Program.

I love being a cheerleader for innovation! I love being in relationships and conversations with people who are really striving to make a difference in people’s lives. I love that I get to challenge myself and learn new things every day. I love that I have the privilege of being a part of a rich Jewish tradition of spirituality, texts and learning AND also to plan for and work toward the Jewish Future! All in the company of amazing colleagues!

Suri is based out of Long Island and is a proud mother of three adult children and an avid Torah reader. She gardens, enjoys a good detective novel and enthusiastically cheers for the New York Yankees. You can contact Suri at sjacknis@jewishedproject.org

Yachdav 2013 Press Release

Yachdav 2013 Press Release
Posted by icadmin in Uncategorized
The Coalition of Innovating Congregations Hosts Yachdav Celebration on May 9th in New York (via PR Newswire)

50 Synagogues from around New York will showcase their innovations for the Hebrew School experience NEW YORK, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — The Coalition of Innovating Congregations, an initiative of The Jewish Education Project and the Experiment…

Email Subject Line Practice

Email Subject Line Practice
Posted by icadmin in Uncategorized

By Rabbi Jennifer Goldsmith

We are always striving to create purposeful, useful communication with our congregants. When we know that their email in boxes are always full, how do we get our email subject line to stand out? Take out your smartphone and choose one subject line that grabs your attention. Why did it work? Was it about something you love, from a family member or friend, did it ask for an immediate response? Maximize the number of people who open your emails by following these simple steps taken from About.com:

In your email subject, do not:

  • Arouse interest or curiosity 
  • Say “hi” 
  • Be wordy 
  • Respond without giving context
  • Be vague or general 

In your email subject, do:

  • Give the message’s bottom line 
  • Summarize the message 
  • Be precise
  • If there is an action required, say so 
  • Include date and deadline 
  • Leave out unnecessary words 

Now it is time to practice! Click below for a PDF of emails inspired by the characters in our Torah. Happy Writing!

Email Subject Line Practice (PDF)
File Size: 172 kb
File Type: pdf

Connected Congregations Event: From Dues and Membership to Sustaining Communities of Purpose

Connected Congregations Event: From Dues and Membership to Sustaining Communities of Purpose
Posted by icadmin in Uncategorized
We would like to share this free upcoming event. Cyd Weissman, The Director of Innovation in Congregational Education at The Jewish Education Project, along with other visionary leaders will be a panel speaker! 
The UJA-Federation of New York Himan Brown Charitable Trust Symposium Series

Connected Congregations:
From Dues and Membership to Sustaining Communities of Purpose

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

UJA-Federation of New York
130 East 59th Street
New York City

Register online.
Space is limited.

A connected congregation is one that deeply understands the meaning of community, and works explicitly to build a strong, meaningful, and engaged Jewish community. It prioritizes relationships and shared values, and aligns all aspects of institutional management in service of the community. 
— Lisa Colton, founder of Darim Online

As our Jewish community advances and changes in response to the ever-evolving needs of its participants, we look to our synagogues for inspiration, connection, and shared purpose. Our congregations, however, are facing an important moment of self-determination and the need to align their purpose to the sacred as well as the strategic and sustainable. On May 29th, SYNERGY: UJA-Federation and Synagogues Together invites you and the leadership of your congregation or organization to take part in a groundbreaking conference. Join us as we:

Engage with visionary leaders to interpret current trends impacting synagogues:

  • Cyd Weissman, Director, Innovation in Congregational Education, The Jewish Education Project
    Lisa Colton, Founder and Director of Darim Online
    Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Senior Fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and author of Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future
  • Reveal new research findings about the alignment of synagogue models and congregational purpose:
    Beth Cousens
    , Independent Researcher, Imagine: Jewish Education Consulting
  • Connect with New York synagogue and organizational leaders to consider the possibilities for sustaining our sacred communities

If you are unable to come in person and are interested in participating through live stream, contact synergy@ujafedny.org and indicate your name, organization, position, and e-mail in order to receive a link to log in on the day of the conference. Feel free to forward along this conference information to others in your community who may be interested.

For more information or to request an assisted-listening device, contact Neely Grobani at synergy@ujafedny.org or 1.212.836.1202.

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