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NEWS

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Joint Statement on President Trump’s Announcement on Iran

USCJ International President Margo Gold, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, helped craft the following statement regarding President Trump’s announcement on Iran:

“The President’s declaration reflects frustration with Iranian behavior following the implementation of the JCPOA. While there are some differences of views as to the most effective approach, the Conference of Presidents has clearly and consistently called for an agreement which would ensure that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapons capability that would augment its ability to create mayhem in the region through its support of terrorism.

Today’s announcement, we hope, will create an opportunity to accomplish these goals. We hope that a more comprehensive arrangement with stricter compliance rules, a prohibition against the development of long- and short-range ballistic missiles, any weaponization program and, of course, human rights violations, will become a reality. Sanctions targeting banking and energy sectors of the Iranian economy should be imposed. We hope that our European Allies will join in this endeavor. More effective compliance measures without sunset clauses, and giving inspectors unfettered access to military and other barred sites, should be included. The threat that Iran poses to Israel, its neighbors and the world at large, mandates a comprehensive approach.”

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EVENTS

thicker-line2Getting Off to a Great Start: Webinar for Presidents and Officers
August 2, 3:00 pm Pacific

Want to start your board year on the right foot? Join the conversation as we share resources and best practices in working with your leadership team, developing effective and efficient meeting practices, establishing board goals and more. This will be an interactive training and you will need to be at a screen with a camera and speakers to participate. Register here.

thicker-line2Want to Better Engage Interfaith Families?

Looking to attract and engage interfaith families in your community? Join the second cohort of Community and Covenant to examine, reflect and update your kehilla’s programming, ritual, governance and culture. Learn more and sign up here.

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Onboarding and Networking for Your New Education and ECE Directors

USCJ’s New Directors’ Institute (NDI) takes place over multiple days and explores training on best practices with new and veteran educators, strategies to partner with clergy, parents, students, teachers and lay leaders, and experiential and interactive learning about 21st century teaching methodologies. It also includes a full year of coaching and consultation after the seminar concludes. Registration for the July 2018 session is now open for Education Directors, Early Childhood Directors, Principals, Directors of Congregational Learning, Rabbis, Cantors and Educators of Congregational Schools hired within the past three years.

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RESOURCES

thicker-line2New Staffing Survey

Learn here about what USCJ’s recent survey has discovered about the way our affiliated kehillot are staffed.

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Fueling Membership Engagement

Synagogue leaders must build their capacity to deepen engagement of active members as well as conduct outreach to less engaged members. Read this article from USCJ Transformation Team Leader Bob Leventhal for ideas on how to address this tension.

thicker-line2Success Story: “Inclusion Is Not a Matter of Money. It’s a Matter of Intent”

When Congregation Beth Torah in Richardson, Texas, decided to embrace a new inclusion initiative, they hoped to make synagogue life more accessible to the physically and mentally challenged in their community. Read here how participation in USCJ’s Inclusion Action Community impacted the entire congregation.

thicker-line2Mitzvah Day: Good, But (Maybe) Not Tikkun Olam

USCJ Director of Learning Engagement, Ed Frim challenges us in this article to consider what service activities we ask students to do during this season of volunteering.

thicker-line2Online Learning Direct from Jerusalem

Did you know that there are more than 250 source sheets from the Conservative Yeshiva (CY) in Jerusalem on Sefaria? Read them, print them and share them with your congregation.

You can also opt to study while you’re in Israel with the CY’s expert teachers. The Summer Program is divided into two three-week sessions. Build your own schedule to include dynamic Jewish learning, eye-opening walking tours of Jerusalem, immersive Hebrew ulpan and meaningful volunteer work.

Regardless of what you choose, all summer students are able to participate in special Yeshiva programming, including morning prayers at the Egalitarian Kotel, community meals and guest speakers.

For more info, visit this website.

thicker-line2Leadership Resources from the USCJ Kehilla Strengthening and Transformation Department

Below you will find articles from a variety of sources about critical issues facing religious leaders today. We encourage you to read the articles and share the ones that challenge you with your kehilla and all those interested in raising the bar for leadership in the Jewish Community. Articles from websites that require a subscription will be marked with an *.

  1. Making Synagogues Sustainable: Our planet is in crisis, and congregations need to care about sustainability like the rest of humanity. Read this article in Tablet about congregations that are making the future of our planet a high spiritual priority. 
  2. Will an Atheist Dad Go to Heaven?: Jewish families are frequently divided between those people who identify as theists and those who identify as atheist or agnostic. Here is an article in The Huffington Post about how Pope Francis answered a little boy who wanted to know if his atheist father went to Heaven.
  3. When Americans Say They Believe in God, What Do They Mean?: Most Americans say they believe in God, yet upon closer examination what it means to believe in God varies widely. Read this research from the Pew Research Center about what Americans mean when they say they believe in God.
  4. Five Mindsets That Contribute to Poor Results: A huge connection exists between the mindset that a person brings to a problem and his or her capacity to solve that problem. Here is an article from Smart Brief about the effects of a negative mindset.
  5. How Do You Use Non-Profit Capital?: Although finances are a critical concern of every non-profit organization, that does not mean every organization approaches their finances in a strategic way. Watch this webinar from NonProfit Quarterly about how to think about the way capital is used in your organization. 

Here are some upcoming offerings from the Kehilla Strengthening and Transformation Department. Click on the links to apply or receive more information:

  1. June 4-5, 2018: Eit Ratzon: A Seminar on Rabbinic Employment Transition
  2. June 7-10, 2018Sulam for Presidents, Pearlstone Retreat Center
  3. July 1, 2018USCJ Community and Covenant Action Community Application Deadline
  4. July 23-26, 2018: New Directors’ Institute
  5. December 3, 2018USCJ/Keshet Leadership Project Training, Bethesda, Maryland
  6. December 6-10, 2019: USCJ Convention, Boston, MassachusettsSave the Date!

As a reminder, these articles were chosen after reviewing the following publications. If you have any suggestions on publications you would like to see reviewed, please contact Rabbi Josh Rabin, Director of Innovation, at rabin@uscj.org. To subscribe to the Sulam Reader or Sulam Texts, click on this link.

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