Congregational Life

Strengthening Congregations

Building Vibrant Congregations and Strong Communities

The Union for Reform Judaism helps congregations and communities stay adept and agile, which enables them to proactively meet members' needs and expand the ways in which people live Jewishly.  

We develop leaders to face today’s adaptive challenges and nurture innovation to be responsive to changing needs. We also connect leaders to each other so they can learn from each other’s experience, and we provide services that lower the cost of congregational operations. When needed, we provide personalized support for congregations in transition and crisis.

Through the URJ's work with congregations, we further our other priorities of investing in the Jewish future, deepening Jewish learning and experiences, repairing the world, welcoming all, and connecting with Israel.

Amy Asin, URJ Vice President, Strengthening Congregations, speaking at URJ Biennial 2019.

What's New

Fundraising is About Values First, Money Second: An interview with Rabbi Philip Bazeley

April 7, 2022
Rabbi Philip Bazeley (he/his) has implemented an innovative fundraising model for his congregation at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey. So far, he has raised $10,800 for RAC New Jersey, which is compelling early proof of the sustainability of his approach. He shared his thoughts and strategies for fundraising to empower other communities in formulating their own strategies.

Uniting Our Congregations

March 8, 2022
Even when our congregations consist of members with a broad range of political perspectives, there tends to be a preponderance of attitudes in a particular direction. This often leads to those in the minority feeling alienated from synagogue life. While this might happen in either direction, in my congregation, as in most URJ congregations, the members tend to be more politically liberal, in correlation with a more progressive religious viewpoint. This correlation is not perfect, however, and a minority of members are politically conservative.

Moving to the Leading Edge: A Resource & Discussion Guide to Move Congregations Forward

Written by experts, URJ staff, and congregational leaders who are doing innovative work, this series of guides provides inspiration for innovation, featuring articles and prompts for reflective conversations Available in three volumes:

moving the leading edge

Congregational Engagement and Support Team

The Congregational Engagement and Support team is the hub for information and connections to help you navigate all aspects of congregational life, providing direct answers, guidance, resources from the URJ, and expertise from URJ staff, affiliate organizations and movement partners, and congregational leaders across North America and around the world.

The Tent

Learn about the URJ's communication and collaboration platform, where thousands of leaders throughout the Reform Movement meet and share ideas.

Reform Movement Marketplace

Where URJ-affiliated congregations can connect with products and services that reduce costs of running a congregation and simplify day-to-day operations.

COVID-19 Resources for Congregations

To help you prioritize your community’s health, safety, and spiritual wellbeing, we’ve compiled a list of helpful resources that is being updated as additional resources become available.

Leadership and Governance

The URJ offers a variety of training and engagement opportunities and resources that emphasize critical thinking and practical skills.

Transition & Crisis Support

The URJ's crisis and transition management directors, Rabbi Janet Offel and Rabbi David Fine, provide support to congregations for a wide range of situations.