interview with Dan Judson. Several Reform congregations are experimenting with a “free will” system whereby members pay what they wish. What can we learn from this radical rethinking of dues? Article explores the reasons congregations are introducing new dues systems, how congregations transitioned into the “free will” system, member and bottom-line benefits reported by a variety of different congregations, commonalities in congregations with successful “free will” systems, and other models of synagogue financing. Sidebar reports on the URJ’s Reimagining Financial Support Community of Practice and its Active Learning Network. Spring 2014.
interview with Edythe Held Mencher and Marsha Elser. How congregations can best respond to the emotional, legal, social, financial, and spiritual challenges faced by divorced couples. Fall 2013.
interview with Allison Fine. A temple president and co-author of The Networked Nonprofit discusses why synagogues need a new networked model, one of community rooted in conversation, to nourish the feeling of “matter-ness.” Summer 2013.
Barbara Pash. How congregations can successfully engage young families. Profiles model congregations of different sizes and presents experts’ tips for success. Winter 2012.
Rebecca Missel. “How many times can a young person go to synagogue alone and be ignored by the leadership before he/she decides to give up?” Part of Cover Story: Forum for the Future, in which six 20s and 30s say what they need to find their home in the Jewish community. Winter 2012.
no byline. Highlights “The Open Tent” program established by Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach, which is engaging three different demographics: young professionals 25-45, expectant parents, and new parents. Winter 2012.
Ryan E. Smith. Congregations’ innovative approaches to strengthening member involvement on the Day of Rest. Summer 2012.
Mark Jacobson, Judy Buckman. Two temple executive directors present differing perspectives on this issue based on such concerns as “sound business principles” and “the very mention of dues leaving a negative impression.” Winter 2011.
How B’nai Israel Synagogue – Don Abraham Jewish Cultural Center, Rochester, Minnesota is providing hospitality for Jewish residents and patients from all over the world who come for treatment to the Mayo Clinic. Winter 2011. PDF.
What Reform Judaism readers say about how to boost synagogue membership, ensure our economic vitality, and secure the Reform Jewish future in North America. Grassroots responses to the crucial congregational issues of our times. Covers such issues as accessibility and inclusion, being a caring community, finances, temple management, membership, transformation, and welcoming. Winter 2011.
The exponential growth of a pluralistic minyan primarily serving 20s and 30s in Astoria, New York which was created by two HUC-JIR rabbinical students—and what congregations can learn from their initiative.
Sue Fishkoff. Explains how an oneg can make or break a congregation’s recruitment efforts, oneg history, different systems to differentiate and welcome newcomers to the congregation, and more. Includes a sidebar guide to breaking the ice, “8 Ways To Greet a Stranger in Synagogue,” by Marcia Nichols. Fall 2011.
Jane E. Herman & Vicki Farhi. How Reform congregations are successfully engaging potential Jews-by-choice. Winter 2010.
Andrew Ramer (yes) and Morrie Hartman (no). How one lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender event changed a congregation; and how one man felt isolated in being reached out to because of sexual orientation rather than his Jewishness. Fall 2010.
Jane E. Herman. What Reform congregations and others have learned about engaging 20- and 30-something Jews.
Jane E. Herman. What Reform congregations and others have learned about engaging 20- and 30-something Jews. Fall 2010.
Susan Talve. To create an integrated, safe, and welcoming place for Jews of color, Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, Missouri followed a similar model to the successful one they had implemented in reaching out to the GLBT community in the 1980s. Spring 2010.
Maxine Sukenik and Steve Friedman. A debate between two temple presidents, each of whose congregation has chosen a different path. Fall 2009.
Joel Berman. Personal reflection on opening one's heart to a stranger in the sanctuary whose demeanor is disturbing to the author. Fall 2001.
Laura Geller. Our actions can either close or open doors to a Jewish life. Will we be intimidating shomrim (guards) or welcoming mezuzot? Summer 2001.