Leadership Connections #43: May 1, 2023

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

Leadership Content

News, thought leadership articles, and past event information

Featured Article:


Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal Reflects on Israel at 75

Last week, Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal and Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg were in Israel attending the Special Zionist Congress to celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday. Rabbi Blumenthal reflects on the celebration of Israel’s 75th year. Read more here.

Additional Leadership Content:

This virtual conference will explain why inclusion is sacred work for our movement. After a keynote address by USCJ and Rabbinical Assembly CEO, Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, three panelists from our congregations will share their journeys and approaches to interfaith inclusion. Together with USCJ Interfaith Specialist, Dr. Keren McGinity, we will discuss how congregations can reach our potential by embracing diverse Jewish families. Participants will emerge from this 2-hour webinar with ideas for next steps to bring to their own community. It will be offered twice. Sign up for either the daytime or evening session.

  • Updated: Jewish Network Organizations Opportunities
    USCJ has updated its list of Jewish Network Organization opportunities. These are organizations who provide services to the Conservative movement. Our network is doing amazing things and we want to keep you informed. Check back here periodically to see what is happening. Learn more here.
  • USCJ Resources: Webinar Archive
    Every issue we will be highlighting different USCJ resources to remind you what is available to use. This month we are featuring our Webinar Archive. Explore the wide array of USCJ webinars available about topics important to our synagogues. Visit site here.
  • How Can You Attract the Best Talent?
    For many USCJ congregations summer is the season for hiring new staff and kicking off Fall activities. How can you attract the best talent? The JRB will help you offer retirement benefits that will make a difference. Prospective hires value them and a retirement plan also helps you retain valued staff. Learn more here.
  • Recording – Protecting The Environment For Ourselves And Future Generations
    USCJ and Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex (NJ) have joined the new Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition, and you are invited to learn more about this by viewing the Zoom recording of the program. Be inspired by Jakir Manela, visionary founder of this new North American Jewish Leadership Coalition to learn how we now will be able to confront the moral urgency of the climate crisis, jointly committing to climate action. View recording here.

Special Events

Upcoming events from USCJ and our partners

  • Education Directors Webinar: Showcasing Online Resources
    Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 12PM ET
    USCJ and the JEA (Jewish Educators’ Assembly) are jointly sponsoring a special webinar for our Education Directors, showcasing two Jewish Educational Online resources.
    This is the perfect time to learn about these programs, as you begin (or continue!) planning for next year. Please register below, and come join us to learn more about the ‘Truvie’ platform and ‘ShalomLearning’. Register here.
  • Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities:
    RACI a Model for Organizational Effectiveness
    Tuesday, May 16, 2023
    Daytime Webinar at 2PM ET or
    Evening Webinar at 8PM ET
    One of the biggest issues that generates conflict in synagogues is the lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities for professional and lay leadership. Join us for an introduction to the RACI model for organizational effectiveness. RACI is an acronym that stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. The workshop will be facilitated by Daniel Langenthal. Daniel will first explain the model and then practice using the model with the group. This will be followed by the chance for participants to meet in small groups and work through challenges they have using the model. It will be offered twice. Sign up for either the daytime or evening session.
  • My Tree in Israel Info Session
    Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at 1PM ET
    Looking for a new and exciting way to fundraise at your synagogue and give back to Israel? My Tree in Israel connects synagogues with Israeli farmers to create unique and beautiful fundraising campaigns through the sale of olive oil and wine. Learn more at our info session. Register here.
  • Tikkun Leil Shavuot
    Thursday, May 25, 2023 at 8PM-12PM ET
    Join with thousands of Jews for the Conservative/Masorti Movement Tikkun Leil Shavuot Torah from Coast to Coast, sponsored by Exploring Judaism! Learn from rabbis, teachers, students, and leaders. Registration links will be shared soon. Click here for more information. Become a sponsor here.
  • RootOne Israel B’nai Mitzvah Program Info Session
    Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 12:30 PM ET
    Sustain the pipeline and build our future by sending teens to Israel! Join us for a brief info session about RootOne funding available to your teens for their summer trips to Israel. This incentive starts as early as the Bar/Bat/B* Mitzvah, and it will encourage families to maintain synagogue membership while committing to their children’s Jewish futures. It’s WIN/WIN/WIN and we want YOU to be part of it! This session will be recorded and sent out to those who register. Open to RA rabbis, rabbis in USCJ congregations, and staff/lay leaders who might support this program’s functioning in your community. Register here.
  • Strengthen the Professional-Lay leadership Relationship
    During the month of June. Limited to the first 20 congregations that register.
    USCJ invites synagogue professionals and lay leadership to register for a two hour consultation on developing the lay and senior professional leadership relationship. These individualized workshops will take place in the month of June and will be facilitated by Daniel Langenthal. The consultation sessions are designed to help build new relationships and strengthen those that already exist. Register here.
  • Eit Ratzon Summer 2023
    Eit Ratzon is the RA’s summer professional development, geared to supporting rabbis, encouraging collaboration with lay leadership, and beginning the New Year of 5784 from a place of strength. Some sessions are specifically for those starting new positions this year. Other sessions are for rabbis who are looking to reflect on a specific area of practice. Sessions are geared toward rabbis in all fields of practice: synagogue, education, chaplain, entrepreneur, organization, etc. Sessions marked as “Rated E for Every Rabbi” are applicable to all types of rabbinates. To ensure that a session is appropriate for you (or your team), please reach out to Rabbi Ilana Garber. More info and register here.
  • New Directors’ Institute 2023
    July 12,13,17 and 18
    This virtual professional development conference is for Education Directors who are new in their role or have been hired within the past 2 years.

    Register below for learning with leading Jewish educators, become a member of a learning community, meet colleagues who can help support you, and develop practical skills to succeed. Questions? Please contact Miriam Abrams-Stark, USCJ Synagogue Consultant [email protected].

    Questions? Please contact Miriam Abrams-Stark, USCJ Synagogue Consultant [email protected]. Register here.

  • Ma’alot Grant Program 2023-2024
    JNF/NBN has opened the 2023-2024 Ma’alot Grant Program, for Israel-focused programming taking place from 7/1/2023-6/30/2024. Updated guidelines can be found on the new application form linked here. Synagogues are highly encouraged to apply! Find the key points and additional guidance included in the application form. Read the application request letter here.
  • Brit Kodesh: Brit Milah Training for Healthcare Professionals
    Sunday-Thursday, November 12-16, 2023
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Conservative Movement’s Rabbinical Assembly announces that the next Brit Kodesh training for Conservative/Masorti mohalim/mohalot will be offered in Los Angeles from Sunday, November 12th through Thursday, November 16, 2023!

    We are currently accepting applications from prospective participants. We only accept applications from practicing physicians and healthcare professionals who have extensive training and experience performing circumcisions. All applications must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the referring rabbi, who is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly.

    Participants must commit to the entire in-person conference in Los Angeles beginning Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 2:00 PM PT through Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 4:00 PM PT. Register here.

    Please reach out to Rabbi Ilana Garber at [email protected] with questions.

Synagogue Spotlight

Share your stories, programs, and events:


Each month we will feature one program, story, or event from one of our synagogues. This is an opportunity to highlight you and the amazing work you are doing. We want to maximize the power of our network, and give you the space to share your ideas, learn from each other, and be inspired. We hope you will participate by sharing a success. Please check back in this space next month for our next spotlight.

USCJ affiliated synagogues can submit information via this easy-to-use Google form, and email Rivka at [email protected] if you have any further questions. Share here.

One Question Survey

This edition’s featured question:


As the network of Conservative congregations across North America, we’ve designed these one-question polls to help you share information with one another. Each month’s question comes from inquiries that USCJ receives from synagogue leaders.This edition’s featured question:

Does your synagogue do anything special for graduating students?

Answer here

We’re Hiring!

Come join our team! We’re hiring the following positions.

  • Director of Marketing and Communications
  • Senior Director of Synagogue Leadership
  • Mid-Atlantic District Synagogue Consultant
  • CHUSY City and Engagement Director
  • USY Engagement Director – Seattle
  • Administrative Assistant – TED/USY
  • Denver USY Engagement Director

Click the link here to view all of our open positions. Please share with anyone you think would be interested.


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.