Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

UJA-Federation of New York with Darim Online Launches Connected Congregations, A Catalyst for Building Strong, Meaningful and

Engaged Jewish Community September 3, 2013 (New York, NY) -- Synagogues have long been the hub of local Jewish communities, but what that looks like for a successful, dynamic, sustainable synagogue today is quite different from what weve previously known. Recent research (such as Connected Congregations: From Dues and Membership to Sustaining Communities of Purpose commissioned by UJA-Federation and funded by Beth Cousens Ph.D.) provide a vision of what it would look like for synagogues to re-align themselves as centers of Jewish community in the deepest sense of the word. In such Connected Congregations, members become engaged in synagogue life and therefore in Judaism because they connect to the synagogues vision and purpose, to others in the congregations, and the clergy, and the synagogue builds their Jewish journey and their Jewish engagement or exploration. In a connected congregation, these pieces are interconnected. UJA-Federation of New York with Darim Online are engaging a pilot cohort of six New York area congregations on an intensive and supported journey to explore and experience what it means to become a more connected congregation. Over the course of the coming year, teams from each of the 6 congregations will participate in cohort-wide face-to-face workshops and webinars, team meetings supported by expert coaches, synagogue projects that put their vision into action, peer visits to learn from others in the cohort, a book club to infuse the initiative with current research and best practices from within and outside the Jewish arena, and social media spaces to encourage ongoing conversation and knowledge sharing. The six congregations in the pilot cohort are: Central Synagogue of Nassau County (Rockville Center), Reconstructionist Congregation Beth Emeth (Rockville Center), The Community Synagogue (Port Washington), Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El (Scarsdale), Park Slope Jewish Center (Brooklyn), and Temple Beth Abraham (Tarrytown). Other congregations beyond the pilot cohort are warmly welcomed and encouraged to take join our webinars and engage through the website and social media channels to learn, share their own experiences, successes and challenges as we chart new territory together.

To promote sharing of what congregations are learning and doing (within the cohort and with the broader community), the Connected Congregations website (www.connectedcongregations.org) will feature case studies from the congregations in the cohort, a suggested book list and invitation to participate in a Connected Congregations Book Club, articles and other resources related to the key elements of being a connected congregation, and will be a place for other congregational representatives to engage in the conversation. The Facebook Group (https://facebook.com/groups/connectedcongregations) and Twitter feed at #connectcongs will create additional points of entry for those interested in the initiative. The initiative is kicking off in late October. Those interested in this work should also visit http://www.ujafedny.org/sldp to browse a whole series of live events, workshops and webinars on various aspects of becoming a Connected Congregation, presented by SYNERGY: UJAFederation of New York and Synagogues Together. We look forward to learning with and from you this year! Contacts: Leora Isaacs, Connected Congregations Project Director, Darim Online leora@darimonline.org Lisa Colton, Founder and President, Darim Online lisa@darimonline.org Adina Frydman, Executive Director, SYNERGY, UJA-Federation of New York frydmana@ujafedny.org