Leadership Connections #26: December 6, 2021

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

The New Normal

Resources for synagogue leaders in the time of Covid




A Former Synagogue President Reflects on Member Engagement


Arlene Bryer, president of Temple Aliyah in Needham, MA, underwent several Sulam training sessions and attended many USCJ webinars over the past few years and she applied what she learned to positively influence engagement. Read her story here.

Additional New Normal Content:

  • Brand Storytelling: How to Connect Authentically With Your Members
    Everyone in your congregation is a storyteller, not only the professional staff. In this short workshop on December 9th at 1PM ET and 10 AM PT, you’ll learn how to use brand storytelling to: clearly articulate what is unique about your congregation, inspire your congregations to become who they hope to be and earn the loyalty of your audiences by developing life-long relationships. Register here.
  • Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal’s Update
    Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, the CEO of USCJ and the RA, wrote about USCJ’s exciting initiatives focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Read his full update here.

Leadership Content

Thought leadership, event information, and news for synagogue leaders

Featured Article:

Rabbinic Placement Webinars

USCJ and the RA are partnering to offer two webinars on Rabbinic Placement. Click one each date below to register.

December 7th 10 AM PT | 1 PM ET All About Interviews: Questions, Planning, and Executing
We will discuss: preparations, the role of the committee, intermediate video interviews, weekend visits and more.

January 13th 11 AM PT | 2 PM ET Navigating the Final Steps
What your congregation should have in place as you extend the offer. During this session we will cover offers, negotiations, and contracts. We will also discuss best practices and insights from experts.

Additional Leadership Content:

  • Kol Tefilla: Shabbaton and Music Festival
    It’s happening again! Kol Tefilla 2022’gether. On February 11-13th in sunny Los Angeles, Temple Beth Am is organizing a Shabbaton and Musical Festival enhancing, learning and exploring ways to make prayer a most meaningful and spiritual practice. Register here.
  • Legacy Heritage Fund’s Midcareer Fellowship Program
    Take your Jewish professional career to the next level with a graduate degree. The Midcareer Fellowship provides ambitious Jewish leaders a generous tuition subsidy to earn a Master’s degree at one of ten participating universities. If you completed your undergraduate degree at least five years ago, have served the Jewish community professionally for a minimum of three years, and work at a Jewish institution for a minimum of 15 hours per week while pursuing your degree, you are eligible for this amazing opportunity to help take the next step in your Jewish professional journey. Learn more at midcareerfellowship.net.
  • Hanukkah Miracles and Triumphs
    In a wonderful collaboration, USCJ and RA are launching a Hanukkah Miracles & Triumphs Digital Celebration. The theme is Miracles and Triumphs, big or small, near and far. Like four sides of a dreidel, we are featuring four uplifting stories over Hanukkah from individuals connected to our Movement on topics important to our community. Read them all and post your response on any of our social media pages; InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.
  • A Taste of Sulam for Emerging Leaders
    Looking to harness the leadership potential of the next generation of leaders? Watch the webinar lead by your colleagues Rabbi Andy Green, Rabbi Joel Levenson and Rabbi Andrea Merow for a Taste of Sulam for Emerging Leaders. Learn how this program can help you transition prospective leaders from the sidelines to the center of congregational life. Watch here.
  • Advocacy Program: Support Filling the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Position
    Join together with members of the American Jewish community to learn more about the Special Envoy’s unique and significant role and urge the Senate to swiftly continue the confirmation process. Learn more here and register here.
  • 2021 USCJ Compensations Survey
    On Sunday November 21 we sent out the 2021 USCJ Compensation Survey in cooperation with the RA and the CA. The link to participate was sent to synagogue presidents. As we remind everyone regarding surveys the better the participation, the better the data. Please check to see if your synagogue has received the link and is participating. If you have any questions please contact Barry Mael at [email protected] or [email protected].

Special Events

Upcoming events from USCJ and our partners

  • Audits, Reviews, and Compilation Services
    December 14th, 1 PM ET | 10 AM PT
    This webinar will explain the differences between audits, reviews, and compilations services. Join us to learn about the assurance level offered for each type of service, and when should one service be chose over the others. Open to anyone involved in deciding about audits and the process. Register here.
  • A Taste of Sulam for Purposeful Living
    December 16th, 2021 1 PM ET | 10 AM PT
    Are your synagogue’s empty nesters becoming less engaged with the community? This webinar helps you address the important issues on their minds. It creates an affinity group to provide community and meaning, and inspires their next steps. This webinar will review a three session program designed to be led by clergy and a lay volunteer. Facilitate by Bob Leventhal, USCJ Leadership Consultant. Register 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.