Wernick: Koach Closing, It’s “Non-strategic”

from The Jewish Week:

Conservative Movement Likely To Suspend College Outreach

The budget committee of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism will recommend that funding be halted for Koach, the movement’s national college outreach program, when the governing board meets June 10, as part of an effort to reduce the organization’s deficit.

… On Thursday Rabbi Steven Wernick, chief executive officer for the United Synagogue, said that while his organization remains committed to serving college youth, it has over the last three years been “very aggressive in aligning budget, staff and governance with our vision and mission in a strategic way.” Faced with an aging membership, a long-term decline in membership and attendant financial challenges, the United Synagogue has been focusing on shoring up existing congregations, seeking to integrate the educational system and engage the next generation of leadership.

The rabbi pointed to success in greatly increasing philanthropic giving while seeking efficiencies in governance, board size and staffing. With it all, though, he acknowledged that the organization is not out of the financial woods and that “non-strategic” programs had to be cut back or cut entirely. He said he held out hope that “philanthropic resources” could be found to bring back Koach after the program is closed in the near future.