Leadership Connections #10: March 4, 2021

Welcome to Leadership Connections, a twice monthly publication for synagogue leaders and clergy from USCJ.

The New Normal

Resources for synagogue leaders in the time of Covid



Survey Analysis and Resources

Thanks for participating in our latest one-question survey! Due to the enthusiastic survey response we want to highlight the following resources to help synagogues navigate bridging between remote and in-person operations. Thank you to everyone who added their own responses, we can see that digital options are being provided in conjunction with in person. When readers were asked in what ways their synagogues are continuing to meet for services, they responded as follows:

Additional Resources:

In response, we are proud to offer the following resources, corresponding with the categories most often selected by respondents. Based on the survey responses we are working to provide more resources and will share them as they become available.


  • Enhancing Your Livestreaming — Linda Sussman, METNY District Synagogue Consultant, conducted a webinar with the Founder and Executive Producer of Smash Productions and former USYer, David Goldstein on best practices for High Holiday Livestreaming. Watch the webinar here.
  • UJA Federation Planning Guide — The UJA Federation put together a framework for creating plan(s) that will help each synagogue consider the impact of different scenarios and determine the pros and cons of each approach. Read more here and complete their Scenario Planning Worksheet here.
  • Back to Business: Developing a Reopening Plan — Linda Sussman conducted a webinar with Brad Orsini, Senior National Security Advisor of the Secure Community Network, reviewing seven different aspects of what it will look like to reopen. Watch the webinar here.
  • Discussion of Considerations for Re-opening Synagogue Buildings — Along with providing resources for synagogues considering reopening, Barry Mael, Senior Director of Synagogue Affiliations and Operations, hosted a webinar about how best to utilize these resources. Watch the webinar here.
  • How Will Synagogues Survive? — Jack Wertheimer, professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary, looks at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our synagogues. Read more here.

Leadership Content

Thought leadership, event information, and news for synagogue leaders

Featured Article:

A North American Conservative Judaism for the Next Generation

Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg, Chief Operating Officer of the Rabbinical Assembly, discusses the necessary changes the Conservative Movement must adopt to survive in North America. Read more here.

Additional Leadership Content:

  • Sulam for Presidents — Sulam for Presidents is a leadership training program for newly elected presidents and vice presidents likely to become president in the next two years. It prepares your leadership for the responsibilities and challenges that lay ahead. You can view the flyer here. More info is available here and registration is here.
  • ScholarStream: A Joint Initiative from the RA, USCJ, JTS, and Ziegler — Wednesdays 8-9PM starting February 24-March 17th. Thursdays 1-2PM starting March 4-18 and Tuesday March 23rd. ScholarStream is a four part series which will give participants the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading scholars and engage deeply with our texts and traditions. You can register here.
  • Kashrut Subcommittee Recommendations for Pesah 5781 — Last year we experienced a truly different Passover, from the preparations & purchases, to the Seders, and beyond. As Passover approached, the CJLS (Committee on Jewish Law and Standards) provided updated guidelines for the moment in which we found ourselves, many of these leniencies remain the same this year. Read more here.


District synagogue consultants are available to offer guidance on a variety of issues. Find your district and look up your synagogue consultant’s contact information by clicking here.