Leadership Connections #4: November 24, 2020

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

The New Normal

Resources for synagogue leaders in the time of Covid

Featured Article:

December Delights: Celebrating Differences to Enrich Our Community (WEBINAR)

  • On December 1, join Dr. Keren R. McGinity, USCJ’s new Interfaith Specialist, for a webinar on the historical insights about, and navigation strategies for, what is commonly called the “December dilemma.” This phrase signifies the tensions and decision-making that interfaith couples and families experience, especially surrounding the end of year holidays. It also represents an opportunity for Conservative synagogues to connect with this population, to help them celebrate in meaningful ways, and to invite them to fully engage in Jewish life. Open to synagogue leaders, professionals, and educators.

Q&A with USCJ’s New Interfaith Specialist, Dr. Keren R. McGinity

  • USCJ’s new Interfaith Specialist, Dr. Keren McGinity answers questions about her new role, what she is most excited about, and how readers can benefit, especially during this especially challenging and isolating time.

Additional Resources:

  • Celebrating Hanukkah Online:
    • Papercutting Workshop (via Zoom), hosted by Synagogue Emanu-El, Charleston, SC
    • Ignite the Spark, a series of virtual programs focused on themes of Hanukkah, hosted by Congregation Beth El of Baltimore, MD

Leadership Content

Thought leadership, event information, and news for synagogue leaders

Featured Article:

Summary, Materials, and Recordings from Kol Tzedek 2020

  • Kol Tzedek was an engaging conference on racial justice and community organizing for synagogue professionals and lay leaders. It took place on Nov 8-10, 2020. 106 unique congregations from 26 states and Canada joined us for the conference, including clergy, executive directors, presidents, board members, lay leaders, and education and engagement staff.
  • If you missed Kol Tzedek this year (or just wish to revisit some of the content covered), click here for more information.
  • If you participated in Kol Tzedek and would like to join us for a follow up discussion/ webinar on December 10, please click here.

Additional Resources:

  • 2021 Genesis Prize
    • Dubbed the “Jewish Nobel” by TIME Magazine, the Genesis Prize is an annual award that celebrates Jewish achievement, honoring individuals for their professional accomplishments, commitment to Jewish values and contribution to improving the world. This year, for the first time, the public is invited to vote for one of seven outstanding finalists. Over 100,000 have voted so far. Click here to vote today and you will automatically be entered for a chance to have $1,000 donated to the charity of your choice.
  • USY High
    • USY High is an international co-ed secondary school in Israel offering students a high-level academic curriculum of General Studies along with a superior court of Israel Studies, Jewish Studies, and Hebrew. It is an academic and experiential learning opportunity unique to its setting in Jerusalem and will be carried out in full coordination with each student’s home high school. USY High, open to 10th-12th grade students, is an all-encompassing framework, design to provide students with a stimulated cross-cultural experience while focusing on their personal and Jewish development.

Talk to Us!

Thanks for participating in our latest one-question survey!

Here’s what we found:

When asked about which groups that have been historically excluded from Jewish life do you feel your synagogue has the most to learn/ improve inclusive practices, we got the following response breakdown:

In response, we are proud to offer the following resources, corresponding with the categories most often selected by respondents. If you have any further questions about improving inclusivity in your own synagogue, please feel free to reach out to your synagogue consultant.

Additional Resources: