Introducing USCJ’s New International President: Andy Schaer


Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Andy Schaer, and I am honored to have been elected as USCJ International President. A few things to know about me: I am a proud Pittsburgher, a former president of Beth El Congregation, and I was Treasurer and a Vice President of USCJ. I look forward to serving this important organization and having the opportunity to impact Conservative Judaism positively.

Thanks to the tremendous effort of those who have preceded me in this role, USCJ is well-positioned to achieve its goals. Our ultimate goal is to strengthen the Conservative Movement in North America. To do this, we will strengthen our affiliate synagogues by developing and supporting our lay and professional leaders, improving the efficiency of synagogue operations, and more effectively engaging teens and current and prospective adult members.  We will also create tighter alignment among the organizations that comprise the Masorti-Conservative Movement. Together, we can accomplish more than any of us could do individually. The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

Our financial stability, portfolio of services, dedicated staff, and alignment with the Rabbinical Assembly give us the platform to achieve these goals.   We have an excellent team of experienced Synagogue Consultants available to support our affiliates, and we’re in the process of hiring more. Our Sulam leadership development programs educate and energize participants. We just launched a Digital Marketplace, a one-stop-shop for vendors supporting synagogue life, many of whom provide special pricing to USCJ affiliates. We’re about to embark on a significant strategic initiative to reimagine how we engage our youth. And we’re expanding our reach to engage those seeking meaning in their Jewish lives but who aren’t yet ready to connect to a synagogue.

By bringing our organizations together both with each other and with our member synagogues, we create a more unified, stronger Movement. A stronger Movement creates a positive cycle; a more powerful voice can create change and generate impact.

It works both ways; stronger synagogues help to strengthen our Movement.  A stronger movement helps to give our synagogues and their congregants the ability to be part of something bigger. In effect, we’re creating a symbiotic relationship.

I’d like to invite you to take advantage of the many available services, programs, and resources that are benefits of your affiliation with USCJ.  Together, we can do something none of us can do alone.

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