Post High Holidays Checklist


Welcome to 5779!

Now that the High Holidays are behind us, and we’ve said goodbye to Sukkot and Simchat Torah, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead. As was noted in Jack Wertheimer’s article “The New High Holy Days,” many synagogues saw a ten- or twenty-fold increase in attendance during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur compared to an average Shabbat. Below is a list of questions you should ask yourself to capitalize on this momentum:

  1. How do we follow up with members we saw over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that we don’t anticipate to see until next year? How do we keep unengaged community members connected?
  2. What plans do we have in place to complete our Kol Nidre or High Holiday campaign to ensure that it is as successful as possible?
  3. How do we thank those who contributed to our Kol Nidre or High Holiday campaign? How many different ways do we say thank you?
  4. How will we thank all of those whose efforts were necessary to making our holidays beautiful and positive? Consider the following people:
    • Gabbaim
    • Ushers
    • Torah Readers
    • Office Staff
    • Executive Director
    • Clergy
    • Maintenance
    • Synagogue leaders
    • Youth minyan leaders
  5. Have we sent notes thanking the police department for any extra attention and support provided over the holidays?
  6. If certain initiatives or projects were announced during the holidays, how do we now follow up and move them forward?
  7. How do we plan to connect with those in our community who didn’t spend the holidays in the synagogue? Is there a plan to call them or send a note wishing them a sweet new year and letting them know they were missed?
  8. Is there a plan to send notes to those individuals and/or families who left the kehilla over the last year to wish them a happy new year and let them know they were missed?
  9. Will there be a formal way to receive feedback from kehilla members as to how to enhance the holiday experience for the upcoming year? Have we created a feedback email or survey?
  10. Do we have a list of things that need to be repaired, purchased or fixed before next year? Should we buy more machzorim for next year or buy an updated edition? Do any of our tallitot that need to be replaced? Are more kippot needed?

A successful year relies on a strong community. No matter the size of your kehilla, make an effort to ensure that all of your congregants feel welcomed and appreciated. A small act of kindness now can make a big difference later.

Related Blog Posts