Special Feature: Creating Sacred Community - USCJ's Next Big Read and Virtual Conference

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Creating a sacred community is one of the most important tasks facing congregational leaders in the twenty-first century. Dr. Ron Wolfson, the keynote speaker of USCJ’s virtual Fall Conference, will lead “fire-side” conversation with presenters, from inside and outside of our network, who are asking the difficult questions about what it takes to build sacred community. 

Synagogue boards and senior staff are invited to start a “Big Read” of Dr. Wolfson’s newest dynamic book, “Creating Sacred Communities”. Explore together several presented successful ideas for addressing the congregational challenges and opportunities and the factors that can lead to creating sacred, relational settings and communities for the present and future. You can use this discussion guide linked here with your synagogue’s leadership.

Then, join synagogue leaders from across USCJ on one of two dates in December in conversation with authors Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Brett Kopin as they delve into lessons learned from those they interviewed for the book. Register for either Sunday, December 4th or Tuesday, December 6th.

In this new release, Creating Sacred Communities: Leading Practitioners Share Lessons Learned, renowned educator and congregational innovator Dr. Ron Wolfson, author of Relational Judaism, with his student and colleague Rabbi Brett Kopin, invites readers into his master class for senior rabbinical students at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. 

Featuring actual transcripts of guest lectures by fifteen outstanding crafters of congregational communities in settings ranging from synagogues to independent minyanim to Hillels and Jewish day schools, each chapter presents the best principles and practices for success.

“Ron Wolfson has been teaching how to create sacred communities for years with our students in the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies,” Rabbi Brad Artson, Dean of the Ziegler school says of the book. “Now we can all learn from him, his students Rabbi Brett Kopin and Rabbi Sara Himeles, and his Master Class contributors. Creating Sacred Communities is a gift for each of us, for the people we serve, and for the Jewish tradition we love!” 

“Here is Ron Wolfson’s master class on the art of building relational community, taught by our generation’s master artists,” observes Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, CEO, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and the Rabbinical Assembly. “This book invites you into the conversation about creating and becoming engaged and connected in communities of study, worship, and action. Grab a cup of coffee and join in.”

“Should be of great value to rabbis of all denominations, lay leaders of synagogues, and all concerned with invigorating twenty-first century Jewish practice,” says Dr. Jeffrey Herbst, president, American Jewish University.

USCJ synagogues are being offered a 20% discount on book purchases, with an additional discount for bulk quantities. Use code ‘USCJ’ for the discount. The code can be entered on the second page after you add the book to your cart. 

The way the online order form works on the website is:

1. On the landing page for ordering, people need to enter how many copies they want

2. On the same page, then check the shipping cost (although the synagogues will only be charged the exact postage for bulk orders), and then

3. On the next page, they will enter "USCJ" in the "Coupon Code" box. That will automatically reduce the price of the book by $6 each in the cart.

See the flyer here for details. Follow this link to purchase the book. Also remember that Dr. Wolfson and Rabbi Kopin have created this discussion guide specifically for leadership conversations at USCJ congregations. We hope you can join us for this “Big Read” and at one of the virtual conferences on either Sunday, December 4th or Tuesday, December 6th

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