The Best of The Year: 2013

Top 10 articlesIn case you missed any, here – based on site analytics, and in alphabetical order – are our Top Ten posts from 2013:

40 Plus and Screwed: More on Less Young Adult Engagement
by Michal Kohane

Building a sustainable community can’t be just about paying for buses full of young people in hopes they will make Jewish babies.

Eight Giving Rituals for Your Family: Making the Most of Thanksgivukkah
by Stefanie Zelkind

Here are eight suggestions of how to use Thanksgivukkah as a launch pad for learning, giving, and values-based family activities.

From Pew Will Come Forth Torah
by Arthur Green

Judaism is in trouble in America. Almost a third of young Jewish adults consider themselves to be people of no religion. Yes, they still identify as Jews, even expressing some pride in that heritage. But they call themselves non-believers or secularists, Jews by descent or identification, but not by faith.

Introducing the Slingshot Class of 2013-2014

Among the hundreds of organizations that applied for inclusion 50 were selected, along with 17 “standard bearers” – organizations included year after year as models in innovation.

Pew Survey Examines Changing American Jewish Identity

The Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project has published the findings of a comprehensive survey that examines changing Jewish Identity in the U.S.

The $54,000 Strategy: A Bold Solution to Undervaluing our Jewish Professionals
by Mark S. Young

What if entry-level Jewish communal professionals earned $54,000 plus attractive health benefits, and received effective managerial guidance and visible opportunities for career growth? What if starting middle managers earned $108,000, plus meaningful opportunities to improve their professional, managerial, and leadership skill sets? What if?

The Cost of Criticism
by Dan Brown

A professional at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco is terminated for publishing an article.

U.S. Jewish Giving: Who is Giving What to Whom

Today, Jewish community leaders face a strategic crossroads as a new generation of young adults emerges in an America – and a world – that is fundamentally different from what previous generations faced.

U.S. Jewish Population Substantially Larger Than Previously Estimated

The Steinhardt Social Reseach Institute and Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University have released new estimates of the American Jewish population.

What One Chabad Rabbi Can Teach Synagogues About Money
by Dan Judson

Rabbi Peretz Chein, the Chabad Rabbi at Brandeis University, is doing something completely unusual for a Jewish religious organization when it comes to money: he is completely transparent about it.

Honorable Mention

What eJP found particularly noteworthy is that four of the posts in positions 11-15 dealt with the same theme, synagogue finances. Coupled with one post above, it is apparent that the cost of being Jewish in America is a hot topic with our reader community:

Can Synagogues Live By Dues Alone?
by Barry Mael

Across the synagogue world there is one topic high on every board and staff agenda: financial sustainability.

Dues Are Not The Sole Stumbling Block for Young Families
by Mitchell Shames

In this season of t’shuvah, rather than simply bemoaning the cost of synagogue membership let’s turn to the more pressing question: are our synagogues engaging vibrant communities?

From Purchase to Partnership: Removing the Price-Tag from Synagogue Membership
by Michael Wasserman

In the American synagogue, dissatisfaction with the standard dues-for-membership financial model is growing more widespread.

Scrapping Synagogue Dues: A Case Study

For three years running, this case study [by Dan Judson] on how one synagogue altered their dues system and found more money, more members and more harmony remains one of our most well read posts.