Blog

Presidential Networks: Being Part of a Group Makes All the Difference

Barak Malkin
November 10, 2022
One of the most consistent messages we hear from congregational presidents is that they often feel alone with the heavy weight of responsibility for their congregation. While we encourage and work with them to build sacred partnerships with professionals, clergy, and fellow lay leaders at their congregations, we also hear that they want to be connected to people who are in the same role at other congregations.

Hanukkah Highlights Activity Book

Julie Lambert, RJE
November 9, 2022
With Hanukkah around the corner, we are excited to soon share our next "Our Story Your Table" downloadable activity book. In collaboration with Highlights Magazine, we developed a kids' activity book for all ages, featuring Hanukkah-themed jokes, activities, games, and a Highlights favorite, the "Seek and Find" puzzle.

Building a Meaningful Jewish World: A Lesson in Expanding Temple Youth Group Programs

Aaron Wiener
November 3, 2022
During the COVID pandemic in southern California, we saw our Jewish communities weaken. From our camp spaces disappearing to our teen youth groups (TYG) struggling, many of us stopped programming and decreased in membership, while a few of us thrived the best way we knew how - by joining forces. For us, as youth directors, advisors, and educators, we knew this was the way to keep teens inspired and engaged with one another.

Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Jewish Community

Lillie Heyman
October 28, 2022
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) in the U.S. This year, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) chose the theme of #Every1KnowsSome1 to highlight how common domestic violence is. Each of us may (or likely) knows someone, either in our Jewish community or our secular communities, who has been impacted by or is a survivor of domestic violence.

Creating Welcoming Spaces for Interfaith Couples

Rabbi Chase Foster
October 11, 2022
As a part of my work at jHUB, which embraces interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish culture and values in Cleveland, Ohio, I meet with young interfaith couples who are looking for connection, meaning, and guidance. I get to hear their unique stories, which often reflect their desire to deepen their relationship with Judaism and with one another.

Reviving Synagogue Communities Using Smart Tech

Allison Fine
Beth Kanter
September 29, 2022
Email and other technologies are a huge factor in why employees feel like they're always on the clock. This "always-on" culture accelerated while synagogues began facing declining membership before the pandemic and has only intensified since. Even if clergy or staff are cut, the work demands don't decrease. As a result, remaining clergy or staff or volunteers are even more overwhelmed and are burning out at alarming rates.

Opening Our Doors & Improving Our Welcome

Jason Plotkin
September 22, 2022
In recent years, our synagogues have explored what it means to be 'expanding the tent' and embracing 'audacious hospitality.' Both ideas center around the notion that our Jewish communities ought to be places of belonging - spaces where everyone is welcomed, affirmed, and can feel at home.