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USYers March for Their Lives

USCJ has been inspired by the reaction, resiliency and leadership of teens around the country in the wake of the Parkland, FL, shooting. This includes our USYers, who marched in Washington, D.C. and many other communities on March 24th to demand change. Read reflections on the experience here.


Keep the Conversation Going

Did your USYers participate in March for Our Lives? Continue the conversation by downloading an educational resource from USY here to explore the subject of gun violence through a Jewish lens.



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 at this link.

thicker-line2Is Your Board Working as a Team?

Sulam for Current Leaders (SCL) is a leadership development program that strengthens the collective performance of your officers, board members and committees. The result: a shared purpose, energy and goals to create a sustainable congregation. Apply now at this link for the next action cohort.thicker-line2 Onboarding for New Synagogue Presidents

Sulam for Presidents is an annual, intensive seminar aimed at preparing new or incoming synagogue presidents and vice presidents likely to become president in the next two years for the responsibilities and challenges of synagogue governance, management and community building. Taking place this year from June 7-10, 2018, the intimate, retreat setting allows for quality time with peers, reflection on learning and recharging of spiritual batteries. Don’t miss it. Learn more here.

thicker-line2Support Your Kehilla’s New Education Director 

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. Learn more and register here.

thicker-line2Webinar: Engaging & Educating Families with Young Children Through Shabbat Celebrations

Dr. Eileen Flicker, USCJ Early Childhood Specialist, has organized a special webinar on May 15th from 1-2 p.m. EDT. This webinar, featuring Dr. Emily Aronoff Teck, focuses on strategies early childhood Jewish educators can use to engage and educate families. Dr. Teck will discuss implications for practice from the results of her 2018 study, “Exploring Tot Shabbat: A Study on Tot Shabbat Programs and Their Effect on the Engagement in Jewish Life For Families With Young Children.”  In addition to describing “Tot Shabbat” programs that take prior to Shabbat in early childhood classrooms or on Shabbat, the webinar explores why programs that jointly engage young children and their parents are a particularly potent opportunity. Participants will consider ways to include families in Shabbat celebrations that build relationships and facilitate their active participation in Jewish life. Click here to learn more and register.



Webinar Recording: Next Generation Judaism

Did you miss USCJ’s big read webinar with Rabbi Mike Uram on his book Next Generation Judaism? It is now available online here.


Leadership 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. The Smartest Ways to Use E-mail at Work*: E-mail is one of the most ubiquitous components of work today, yet answering hundreds of e-mails is not the same thing as getting a ton of work done. Read this article in The Wall Street Journal about what science can teach us about the most effective ways to use e-mail.
  2. How Big Funders Transformed American Jewish Philanthropy: The tremendous changes taking place in Jewish institutions cannot be separated from the tremendous changes that already took place in the world of private philanthropy. Here is a new report from the Avi Chai Foundation about the changing contours of Jewish philanthropy.
  3. How the Suburbs Stopped Booming: Most synagogues were founded during a boom period of population growth in the American suburbs, yet that growth has been slowing down for quite some time. Read this article from the UpShot in The New York Times about the changing role of the suburbs in the United States.
  4. Your Government is Funding Houses of Worship (Here’s Why You Didn’t Notice): In spite of the theoretical separation between church and state in the United States, subtle changes have taken place in how the government assists houses of worships in specific ways. Here is an article from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency about the increasing role government funding plays in houses of worship.
  5. Married Adults Across Religious Groups: The role of marriage and family is critical to understanding the way that religious institutions are changing and will continue to change in the coming years. Read this study from the Pew Research Center about the number of married adults in different religious groups.

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 To subscribe to the Sulam Reader or Sulam Texts, click on this link.

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