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Transition Management & Crisis Support

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) provides support to congregations for a wide range of situations, including:

Major Clergy Transitions

  • Clergy transition and search support are provided in partnership with the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and American Conference of Cantors (ACC). For cogregations undergoing a clergy transition, support is provided before, during and after the search process.
  • The Shallat Rabbinic Transition Program and Retreat offers opportunities for presidents and new senior/solo rabbis to build strong, effective working relationships that foster the rabbi’s successful integration into the congregational community. 
  • An online discussion group in the URJ's interactive platform, The Tent, provides congregational leaders with the opportunity to hold discussions and share resources with other leaders from across North America who are also undergoing a transition or who are knowledgeable about the process.
  • A self-guided resource for congregations undergoing senior/solo rabbinic transitions will soon be available to assist congregations in "saying goodbye" to their current rabbi and "saying hello" to his or her successor. 

Lay-Clergy Relationships, Conflict and Crisis Management

  • Rabbi Janet Offel (JOffel@urj.org) and Rabbi David Fine (DFine@urj.org) provide support to congregational leaders dealing with challenging interpersonal situations between lay leaders, clergy and professionals.
  • The North American Commission on Rabbinic Congregational Relations (NCRCR) is a joint commission of the URJ and the CCAR. The NCRCR is uniquely equipped to help both URJ congregations and CCAR rabbis when tensions arise in a synagogue. To learn more about the NCRCR, visit our FAQ sheet in The Tent.

Support for Congregations Considering a Merger or Collaboration

  • Rabbi David Fine (DFine@urj.org) is available to advise congregations in the early stages of consideration of a merger or collaboration.

Congregations should contact the URJ as soon as they are considering a transition, or when concerns about other matters develop. For more information and for support, contact Rabbi Janet Offel at (213) 765-2667 or JOffel@urj.org, or Rabbi David Fine at (212) 452-6724 or DFine@urj.org.