Inviting You to Explore URJ Communities of Practice

The Union for Reform Judaism is thrilled to announce the launch of three URJ Communities of Practice. Jewish tradition places great emphasis on learning and what it brings to both individuals and the community-at-large. With that in mind, the URJ’s soon-to-be launched Communities of Practice will provide opportunities for congregations with shared concerns and interests in a particular area to study and advance their current strategies. Through participation, congregations will be emboldened to experiment “at home,” pushing the boundaries of their previous efforts while receiving peer support and guidance along the way.

Although most communities of practice will learn, experiment and reflect together for 18 months, ultimately they are designed to serve as change agents, assisting congregations in their transformation into communities of belonging, meaning and purpose. The relationships that will emerge from the Communities of Practice will last well beyond the 18 months of formal assembly.

Three Communities of Practice will launch in January 2013:

  • URJ Emerging Young Adult Initiatives Community of Practice
    With an array of alternative opportunities to connect to Jewish life today, young adults are increasingly invisible within synagogue walls. This community of practice brings together congregations aspiring to launch or significantly scale-up their 20s and 30s engagement efforts. Learn more by joining our Emerging Young Adult Initiatives Community of Practice Informational Webinar on November 13, 2 PM ET or by contacting Naomi Abelson.
  • Successfully Engaging Young Families
    Synagogues can serve as a center for families with young children to explore their Jewish identity and build sustainable community. This Community of Practice brings together congregations without early childhood centers (previously referred to as preschools) that seek to engage these families. Learn more by joining our Successfully Engaging Young Families Community of Practice Informational Webinar on November 14, 1:30 PM or by contacting Stephanie Fink.
  • Pursuing Excellence Through Your Early Childhood Center
    With increased costs and steep competition from government-funded universal pre-kindergarten, Reform congregational early childhood centers (previously referred to as preschools) must take a comprehensive approach to stand out in today’s marketplace. This Community of Practice brings together congregations looking to address these challenges.  Learn more by joining our Pursuing Excellence Through Your Early Childhood Program Informational Webinar on November 12, 3 PM ET or by contacting Cathy Rolland.

A fourth Community of Practice is coming soon:

  • Reimagining Financial Support for your 21st Century Congregation
    Every synagogue community requires financial support to operate. Most congregations have relied on an outdated financial model. Through participation in this community of practice we will explore the concept of financial support being directly connected to a relational investment between the congregational community and each member – understanding from the congregants’ perspective the value of being invested in a congregational community. Learn more by joining our Reimagining Financial Support for your 21st Century Congregation Webinar, which will be held on a day to be determined in the week of December 10, or contact Vicky Farhi.

Congregations interested in learning more about the communities of practice that will be launched in January 2013 should sign up for the webinars detailed above. Applications for each community of practice will be available on November 12th and will be due on November 30th.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or Vicky Farhi in our capacities as co-directors of Expanding Our Reach. We look forward to taking this exciting new step with you!