Sulam for Imagineers

Sulam for Imagineers

A USCJ Action Community

Informational Webinar: View the Recording Here and View the slides Here.  

Sulam for Imagineers (SFI) is a new USCJ learning community for synagogues interested in dreaming up new approaches to transform their congregation into an inventive and creative environment.  

SFI Action Community is a cohort of twelve USCJ synagogues committed to a seven-month journey of thinking creatively, developing an innovative project and creating an implementation plan.  There will be a cost for participation that will be announced on June 4th.  Half the fee will be due upon acceptance in the program.

Our Vision:  To infuse a new level of creativity into your synagogue.

Our Mission:  To help our congregations dream of new ways to thrive and build capacity.

Our Goal: To learn together how to create a safe space to dream, address the problems that synagogues face when trying to think creatively, to brainstorm for fresh approaches to solving problems we might not have known existed, and to experiment with new ideas at our synagogues.  By the end of the seven-month period, not only will your team of synagogue imagineers have developed something exciting for your community, but your innovative ideas will inspire synagogues across the country.  

There will be a cost to be a part of the Sulam for Imagineer action community. There will be other opportunities for all USCJ congregations to learn from Ben and his work. On November 6th we will hold our USCJ “Big Read” Conference for The Nonprofit Imagineer (see below).



  • How often will the cohort meet?
    • The cohort of synagogues will meet six times between November 2024 and June 2025 for Idea Exchange Workshops.  During these workshops, two members of each synagogue’s team of Imagineers will share their progress, learn about the work being done by other synagogues in the cohort, and will receive training on the curriculum for the coming module.
      • Idea Exchange Workshop dates are 1:00pm ET to 3:00pm ET Tuesday November 12th, December 17th, February 11th, March 25th, May 13th, Final project presentations June 10th.
    • Each individual synagogue Imagineer team will schedule one in-person session to be held in the weeks following the Idea Exchange Workshop. During these team meetings, the module’s curriculum will be discussed.
    • Open Office Hours will be available during each module for those who wish to bounce ideas off each other or receive assistance with challenging materials.  Office Hours are optional.
      • Dates for office hours are 1:30pm ET to 2:30pm ET Wednesday December 4th, January 15th, March 5th, April 30th, June 4th


  • What preparation is required prior to the first session in November 2024?
    • All cohort participants are required to read The Nonprofit Imagineers by Ben Vorspan and complete the study guide by November 1, 2024. 
    • Each synagogue Imagineering team will meet at least once prior to November 2024 to discuss the challenge or area that they wish to focus on during the Imagineer process.
  • Is there a cost to this program?   
    • There is a cost for participation.  Half the fee will be due upon acceptance in the program.
  • How many synagogues will be able to participate in The Sulam for Imagineers?
    • The action community is limited to twelve synagogues to keep the experience at its highest quality.  
  • When are applications due?


Big Read Conference

The Nonprofit Imagineers by Ben Vorspan


The Synagogues Guide to Being Dreamers

November 6th 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET or 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET

(Two Hour Conference)

In his keynote, Ben will discuss how to cultivate and embrace a true dreamer’s spirit in an organization designed to celebrate tradition.  During the conference, we will explore what it means to be innovative in a synagogue setting, how we can best set ourselves up for success when trying new and exciting things, and how to address the concerns of those who resist change “because we have always done it this way”. We will share case studies of creativity in action from within the synagogue world, and discuss Disney Imagineering© principles that we can start using to unlock the creativity within ourselves and our teams.


Register Below!

Daytime Big Read registration

Evening Big Read registration


Contact Linda at [email protected] for questions


Ben Vorspan has been serving the Jewish nonprofit community for more than 20 years and, during that time, has built a reputation for the creativity that he injects into marketing, communications, fundraising, programming, and membership engagement. Ben is the author of, The Nonprofit Imagineers.  The book explores how to use the same principles that make Disney Imagineering the gold standard of imaginative thinking to transform your organization into an equally inventive and creative environment.  

To purchase the book use discount code USCJ45 to receive 45% off.  

For Book Discussion Guide