USCJ Partnership with Sacred Spaces to Offer Training to Congregations

September 2, 2021

USCJ is excited to announce that it has partnered with Sacred Spaces to provide ten congregations with the opportunity to participate in a one-year cohort focused on building and affirming a culture of safety and respect for those who work and interact with synagogues.

The cohort will use Keilim, an online policy toolkit, developed by Sacred Spaces with the support of the SRE Network. Keilim is the Hebrew word for “vessels.” Policies are vessels that help communicate and uphold organization’s values.

Through this cohort, participating synagogues will draft or adapt core workplace policies and procedures pertaining to issues of harassment, discrimination, bullying, and other behaviors that undermine safety, and respect. Synagogues will also receive training to increase their knowledge about: cultivating a culture of safety and respect, identifying behaviors to be included as prohibited conduct, and designing an accessible and responsive system to receive and handle complaints.

Keilim cohort members will:

  • Attend five foundational training webinars that support efforts to create and implement workplace policies and procedures.
  • Participate in a survey designed to gain input from board members, staff, volunteers, and congregants about what is and is not currently contributing to a safe and respectful environment.
  • Access the Keilim policy toolkit.
  • Receive expert guidance through monthly office hours.
  • Adapt and develop key workplace policy to foster safety and respect.
  • Interact with other cohort members for a peer-to-peer learning community.


Applications will be available in early October with a cohort kickoff anticipated for January 2022.  Synagogues will participate in teams of 3 to 5 people and the cost will be $500 per synagogue. Participating congregations must be in good standing with USCJ in order to participate. If you have any questions or would like to receive the application when it is available, please contact Aimee Close at [email protected].