A Jewish Organization’s First “Diversity Team Meeting:” Come, be a Fly on the Wall By Ilana Kaufman It was now 9:13 am, and we had work to do. This was the first diversity team meeting for Irving’s organization. Around the table sat six executive and senior staff, and seven program staff. I knew Irving and his team to be smart, thoughtful, reflective, assertive, and most of all fair-minded. This team had come together with no direct path … [Read more...] about A Jewish Organization’s First “Diversity Team Meeting”
The American Jewish Scene
By Kathy Elias Anne, Adam and Ariel belong to the same congregation. If you ask them what they want from their synagogue, they use exactly the same words: "To feel embraced and supported ... Grounded, a place that feels like “home”...Stability - to know the synagogue community will be there if they need it." If you ask them how to make all of that happen, they use exactly the same word: change. If you ask them what to change, well, … [Read more...] about Why Does Synagogue Change Miss the Mark? Think Structuralist vs Experientialist
By Michael Wise and Avi Rubel Since launching the new Honeymoon Israel program this past October, we’ve crisscrossed the US, talking to hundreds of newly married couples with at least one Jewish partner. Whether the couples are interfaith, one partner converted or if they’re Jewish-Jewish, we heard a consistent theme: young couples are eagerly seeking to meet and become friends with other, similar couples in their communities. This desire for … [Read more...] about Honeymoon Israel – the First Few Months
By Joseph Reimer Many of us have become increasingly aware that Jewish summer camps make magic. Camps provide powerful Jewish bonding experiences that lead many youth to feel more passionate about their Judaism. Yet we are not exactly sure how this happens. There have been empirical studies that support the power of the camp experience. Yet there remains so much that we do not yet know about how camps make this magic or what it would take to … [Read more...] about Jewish Camps: How is the Magic Made?
By Amy Asin The report issued this week by UJA-NY Federation’s Synergy, Are Voluntary Dues Right for Your Synagogue? A Practical Guide, contains useful information about 26 congregations across North America - many of which are members of the URJ - that have implemented voluntary dues models. As we work with congregations that are experimenting with dues models in our Community of Practice on Reimagining Financial Support for the 21st … [Read more...] about Alternatives to the Alternative: Voluntary Dues and Other Variations on a Theme