Leadership Connections #6: January 7, 2020

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


USCJ is saddened to announce that due to the continuing pandemic, we will not be able to hold our Biennial Convention as originally planned in Toronto in December 2021. Our priority at the moment is to support congregations and teens through the continuing effects of the pandemic in coming months.

We will miss the excitement and energy generated by previous conventions, and are looking forward to holding our next full-scale USCJ Biennial in December, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Click here to read the full letter to our community.

The New Normal

Resources for synagogue leaders in the time of Covid

Featured Article:


Sharing Perspectives Through Sharing Pulpits

Following incidences of anti-Semitism this summer, a Philadelphia rabbi and reverend forged an important relationship — even speaking (virtually) from each other’s pulpits. Learn more about this fascinating story of cooperation, learning, and forward thinking among two communities of faith.

Additional New Normal Resources:


  • Adath Shalom Models Inclusion — In partnership with Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Adath Shalom in Morris Plains, NJ, has hosted a monthly program for adults with developmental disabilities for the last five years. Though the pandemic has presented challenges to minyan attendees and volunteers, they have all adapted well to their new virtual setting.

Leadership Content

Thought leadership, event information, and news for synagogue leaders

Featured Article:


SCN Training: Countering an Active Threat

Join Brad Orsini, Senior National Security Advisor for Secure Communities Network, on January 12 for a training on how to respond to an active threat at your synagogue. This program is a a comprehensive training program to counter an active threat event developed for faith-based institutions and houses of worship. Register here.

Additional Resources:

  • Revolutionary Rabbi — Openly gay rabbi Gideon Estes is aware that religious institutions have harmed many members of the LGBTQ community. That’s why he leads Houston’s Congregation Or Ami with a queer-affirming focus.

Special Events

Upcoming events from USCJ and our partners

ScholarStream: A Joint Initiative from the RA, USCJ, JTS, and Ziegler

ScholarStream is a four part series which will give communities the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading scholars and engage deeply with our texts and traditions. Congregations will be able to sign on as sponsors for either or both series, offering your congregants access to all eight sessions for free. Note: the sponsorship deadline is January 19.

JFNA’s Virtual Mission to Washington

Join USCJ affiliated synagogues and communities across the United States for the first-ever national Jewish Virtual Mission to Washington. Participants will virtually meet with members of the new administration and bi-partisan Congressional leaders to advocate for the priorities of the Jewish community. The mission is free and will take place from the evening of February 1 through the evening of February 2nd, 2021. Register here.

Talk to Us!

Thanks for participating in our latest one-question survey!

Here’s what we found:

When readers were asked about their biggest fundraising hurdles in the current climate, they responded as follows:

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 fundraising and development in your own synagogue, please feel free to reach out to your synagogue consultant.

Additional Resources: