March 13, 2013, Chicago, IL – At a three-day conference held this week, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) officially launched its fourth “community of practice” focused on Reimagining Financial Support for Your 21st Century Congregation.
The Chicago gathering allowed congregational staff and lay leadership from 17 participating congregations that are concerned with the financial health and future of their communities to begin to examine the relational model of engagement and its impact on financial support.
During the community of practice’s 24-month cycle, designated representatives from each congregation will come together to explore connections between congregations’ financial support and members’ relational investment in the synagogue community. They’ll also examine opportunities to fund synagogues as well as ways to promote low-barrier engagement within the community.
Members of the URJ Faculty of Expert Practitioners, Rabbi Dan Judson, Dr. Rob Weinberg and Jewish educator and storyteller Marilyn Price worked with participants on understanding the history of financial support and the many ways to implement that support in congregations; creating a culture of change in their congregations and how to discuss the importance of financial support with individuals in the Jewish community.