Note From Ned Gladstein, International President, USCJ



Despite the challenges that the pandemic has brought to our communities, we’ve recently seen our synagogues tap into their internal talent and resources, producing everything from virtual gatherings for rituals to virtual fundraising events, and a wide array of education programs. Our webinars on reopening, high holidays, and Jewish law have attracted more than 400 attendees, and we’ve noted excellent participation at our district conferences as well as the seminar on rabbinical placement. Additionally, many of you are already taking advantage of discounts on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through our partners as you prepare for next year.

High Holidays

The cross movement High Holiday Task Force has already done so much to help us prepare for what will certainly be a new and unprecedented High Holiday experience this year. I invite you to visit, where you will find comprehensive and continually updated resources, best practices, innovations, and ideas from our movement partners.

Reopening Task Force

As synagogues consider reopening their physical spaces, they should also factor into their decisions the Jewish values that have guided us throughout the crisis thus far. We’re working closely with our synagogues as recommendations evolve, and we strongly recommend this webinar on the development of a reopening task force. To access the recording, please use the password: 9E$M6wG@.

Bold Leadership

Bob Leventhal, Director of Leadership Development at USCJ, suggests that the current upheaval is actually fostering innovation and predicts that the High Holidays will push synagogues in new ways to reimagine how they gather, whether in person or virtually, and will therefore foster further self-reflection and spiritual connection.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate Debbie Varano and the METNY USY Scholarship Gala committee, and wish a mazal tov to all of the honorees. The money raised for scholarships is vital in lowering the barriers to participation in USY programs.You can read more about the event here.

Stay well,

Ned Gladstein

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