USCJ News

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NEWS

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Donate to Hurricane Disaster Relief

In the aftermath of devastation in so many U.S. cities, we encourage you to help all those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma by giving to USCJ’s Disaster Relief FundJewish Federations of North America and NECHAMA Jewish Response to Disaster.

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New USCJ Website

This September, USCJ launched a completely redesigned website. Check it out, and explore the organization’s mission, vision, values, leadership opportunities and what it means to practice an authentic and dynamic Judaism.

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Apply to Two Sulam Cohorts

Sulam for Purposeful Living (SPL)

October 2 deadline

SPL is an engagement and leadership program to help your baby-boomer congregants reflect, re-energize and re-imagine their personal and communal lives. This application will help you determine your capacity to recruit a cohort of 10­­–12 participants within your kehilla (Jewish community). Apply by October 2, and you will be notified by October 16 on a rolling admissions basis.

Sulam for Emerging Leaders (SEL)

October 15 deadline

SEL helps prospective leaders transition from the sidelines to the center of congregational life. This application will help you determine your capacity to recruit a cohort of 10–15 participants within your kehilla. Apply by October 2 by returning your completed application to USCJ Transformation Specialist Nadine Kochavi at kochavi@uscj.org.

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Nominate a Leader for the Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Award

The Shoshana S. Cardin Leadership Award is designed to recognize and celebrate individuals of any age and any stage of their careers who are nominated by their peers for demonstrating dynamism, leadership and creativity. The award will help ensure that Conservative Judaism has the leaders it needs to inspire a new generation of committed, caring and engaged Jews. Nominations for the Cardin Award are due on October 20. The award will be presented at USCJ’s annual General Assembly of Kehillot meeting on December 3 in Atlanta, Georgia. Find more information and the nomination form, Click here.

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What Does an Authentic and Dynamic Judaism Mean to You?

We want to hear from you. Let us know your answer by emailing us at engagement@uscj.org. Responses can be submitted in any format (e.g., photo, video, social media post, article, etc.). Click here to see what others have shared.

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Joint Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Behalf of North American Jewry

Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO of USCJ, and Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, CEO of the Rabbinical Assembly, hand-delivered a letter to Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York, on behalf of North American Jewry. Addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the letter expresses “dismay, anger and a sense of betrayal concerning events of June 25, 2017, in which the Cabinet tabled the Kotel Agreement of January 2016 and simultaneously the Legislative Committee of the Knesset put forward a new Conversion Law that would codify the Rabbanut as the sole authority in Israel for conversion to Judaism.” Click here for more information.

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EVENTS

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Register for USCJ Convention 2017 by October 31, before fees increase. While there, join us in recognizing the Solomon Schechter Award winners, which include PSWR’s very own Temple Ramat Zion, whose award-winning Torah reading program, the Yad Squad, will be featured in a future issue of Kehilla.

At this year’s convention, we are offering new, one-on-one consultations with lay leaders, experts and USCJ staff on a variety of critical issues. When you register for the convention, pick the topic that interests you—so far, registrants are the most interested in member engagement, recruitment and retention, alternative dues and membership models and marketing and communications. Register now for USCJ Convention 2017 to secure a one-on-one consultation on the issue keeping you up at night.

For more about USCJ Convention 2017, read the following article from the Atlanta Jewish Times: “USCJ: See Judaism for the First Time.”

Your participation will help make the USCJ Convention 2017 a truly transformative experience. Join us, and let’s dare together.

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Los Angeles-Area Partner Event: Masorti Foundation

You are invited to join the Masorti Foundation’s dinner conversation—“Is Israel a Home for All Jews?”—with Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean of the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies, and Sophie Fellman Rafalovitz, chair of the Masorti Movement in Israel, interviewed by Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple’s senior Rabbi, on October 25 at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. To RSVP, please contact Alice Greenfield at alles610@gmail.com.

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RESOURCES

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USCJ Strategic Planning Featured in eJewish Philanthropy

A well-designed strategic planning process can ensure that the impact of the process extends beyond the implementation of the plan. Such a process should build leadership capacity and increase the likelihood that current and future plans will be successful. In other words, a good strategic planning process can, and should, change the leadership culture of a congregation. Read the article here. Visit this webpage for more about USCJ’s Sulam for Strategic Planners. 

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Early Childhood Education Standards of Excellence

Our partnership with Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and JCC Association (JCCA) to create BUILDing Jewish ECE addresses some of the greatest challenges in the field of Jewish early childhood education (ECE) by utilizing Standards of Excellence (SOEs) through action plans.

“We are already seeing positive results of SOE implementation through ‘action plans,’ as more families with young children are building deep and authentic relationships and strong connections to one another and to our synagogues and JCCs.”

Read about BUILDing Jewish ECE’s work in this eJewish Philanthropy article.

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After Charlottesville

Read USCJ Director of Learning Enrichment Ed Frim’s blog post to learn about resources to help you and your kehilla respond and provide support in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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USCJ Art Engagement Calendar Now Available

The new USCJ Art Engagement Calendar includes, for each of the 13 months it covers, candle-lighting times for cities across North America and Jerusalem, the dates of Jewish holidays and the Torah readings for both the annual and triennial cycle for each Shabbat. It also provides information about the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center and the Masorti Movement worldwide. To order, click here. Every affiliated kehilla has been sent one complimentary copy. The suggested minimum contribution for others is $18. For more information, please contact calendar@uscj.org.

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E-Newsletter From the USCJ Kehilla Strengthening and Transforming 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 challenging ones with your kehilla and all those interested in raising the bar for leadership in the Jewish community. Articles from websites requiring a subscription will be marked with an asterisk.

  • “What’s Missing in Leadership Development?”: Leadership development is a hot topic in the Jewish community today, yet there is a significant gap between doing leadership development and doing leadership development well. Read this article from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company about the missing pieces in leadership development.
  • “Why There Are No Nazi Statues in Germany”: Recently, a debate has broken out in the United States about the nature of public monuments and what history we are compelled to remember in public spaces. This article in POLITICO Magazine explores how Germany remembers its difficult past.
  • “Game of Thrones made me a better Bible reader”: Jews see Torah through the lens of the culture in which they live, and this includes drawing connections between pop culture and religious life. Read this article in the Washington Post about how a popular television show inspired one person’s approach to reading the biblical text.
  • “Please Join Us, But Not Just on the Days of Awe”: Thousands of otherwise unengaged Jews will walk into a synagogue on the High Holidays, yet it is reasonable to ask whether the High Holidays are a good introduction to synagogue life. This piece in Reform Judaism discusses the challenges synagogues face while serving newcomers on the High Holidays.
  • “Strategic Planning Can Help Congregations and Their Leaders Thrive”: Every synagogue needs a plan, and too many congregations avoid strategic planning altogether. Here is an eJewishPhilanthropy article by USCJ’s Transformative Team Leader Robert Leventhal and USCJ Transformative Specialist Aimee Close on strategic planning for congregations.
  • “More Americans now say they’re spiritual but not religious”: Increasing numbers of Americans say that they are “spiritual” but “not religious,” and this has profound implications for all spiritual communities. This study from the Pew Research Center maps religious identification trends in the United States.
  • “What Do Jewish Millennials Want to Read?”: In order to better engage Jewish millennials, leaders need to better understand the demographic’s interests and passions. Check out this article from New Voices about what Jewish millennials want to read.
  • “Making Time for Mindfulness”: The more responsibility a leader takes on, the more he or she needs to find time to make mental space. Read this article from the Korn Ferry Institute about the importance of mindfulness in leadership practice.

thicker-line2Here are some upcoming offerings from the Kehilla Strengthening and Transformation Department. Click on the links to register or to receive more information:

  1. October 2: Sulam for Purposeful Living application deadline
  2. October 15: Sulam for Emerging Leaders applicatio deadline
  3. October 16Community and Covenant Action Community Training
  4. October 20: Soshana S. Cardin Leadership Award application deadline
  5. October 23: USCJ/Keshet Leadership Project Training
  6. November 1: Registration rates increase for USCJ Convention 2017, held December 1-5 in Atlanta, Georgia  

As a reminder, these articles were chosen after reviewing these publications. If you would like to suggest a publication for review, please contact Rabbi Josh Rabin at rabin@uscj.org. To subscribe to the Sulam Reader, click here.

 

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