Leadership Connections #13: April 15, 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



Member Engagement in the Age of COVID: What Have We Learned?

On April 6th we presented a webinar on what we have learned about member engagement in the age of COVID. We shared information and insights gained from the recent USCJ/NAASE synagogue membership survey, and heard from congregational leaders who have been innovative in engaging their members. View the slides here. Watch the webinar here.

Leadership Content

Thought leadership, event information, and news for synagogue leaders

Featured Article:

Sulam for Officers

Sulam for Officers is an intensive leadership program that gives board officers and presidents resources and tools needed to contribute to the leadership team, and to support their journey up the leadership ladder. This virtual leadership development program will take place June 6-7. Register here.

Additional Leadership Content:

  • Apply For Imun 2021 — Imun 2021 is an updated version of the popular Imun program that USCJ organized in the 1990s and early 2000s. It is a collaborative program of USCJ, the Rabbinical Assembly, and the Cantors’ Assembly, meant to empower lay leaders of small congregations (fewer than 200 member families) to fill certain ritual roles such as leading a Shabbat or weekday service, running a shiva minyan, visiting the sick, or officiating at a life cycle event. Applications are due May 1, 2021. Read about the faculty and program here. Apply here.
  • Webinar Onboarding: Giving Leaders a Great Start — Tuesday May, 11 at 1:00 PM ET, join Bob Leventhal, USCJ’s Director of Leadership Development, for a presentation and discussion on how to best onboard our new leaders and set them up for success. Register here.

Special Events

Upcoming events from USCJ and our partners

Conservative/Masorti Tikkun Leil Shavuot:
24-Hours of Torah

Our Rabbinical Assembly is excited to present the Conservative/Masorti Tikkun Leil Shavuot from May 16th at 12:00 PM – May 17th at 12:00 PM EDT in partnership with United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), the Cantors Assembly (CA), the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC), and Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano.

Access to the experience is FREE for all, regardless of synagogue affiliation or organizational participation. A YouTube link will be made available via social media and all synagogue/organizational mailing lists.

Current co-sponsors for this program include the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, the Jewish Educators Assembly (JEA), and the North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE). To join this program as a paid partner, co-sponsor, or participating organization, register here.

ScholarStream: A Joint Initiative from the RA, USCJ, JTS, and Ziegler
4 Wednesdays, 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT starting April 21st
All sessions will be recorded and made available to registrants.

We are excited to announce the final series of our inaugural season of ScholarStream.
What should Zionism look like in an era of a confident and strong Jewish state? Join JTS, the RA, the Schechter Institutes and Ziegler for a collaborative ScholarStream series, in which teachers representing each institution will explore these and other questions—re-examining some of Zionism’s key ideas, moments, and challenges, from its earliest origins and into the 21st century.

  • April 21: Zionist Thought: Classical Theories and Current Dilemmas (JTS) with Dr. Arnold M. Eisen, Professor of Jewish Thought and Chancellor Emeritus, JTS
  • April 28: Everywhere I Go! Affirming our Rootedness in Zion and the Earth (Ziegler) with Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson, Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean’s Chair, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies
  • May 5: Religion and State in Israel: A Zionist Dilemma (Schechter) with Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, President, Schechter Institutes, Inc.
  • May 12: Peoplehood, Pluralism, and the Meanings of Zionism for Diaspora Jews Today (RA) with Rabbi Lauren Berkun, Vice President, Rabbinic Initiatives, Shalom Hartman Institute of North America

Become a sponsor! All sponsoring congregations will receive a discount code to send to their congregants to sign up for free. Sponsorship deadline is April 20th. Learn more.

Individuals can sign up at a cost of $25 per series. Click here to register.

One Question Survey

We want to hear from you so that we can tailor future content, events, and resources to exactly what you need.

This edition’s featured question:

Given the events and challenges of the past year, how is your synagogue approaching Torah reading?

  • Torah readers are present in the synagogue
  • Torahs are lent out to be read from in private homes
  • The Torah portion is just read by participants at home from a Chumash
  • Other



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.