Virtual Sulam For Officers to Address Pandemic-Related Issues


USCJ introduced its Sulam for Current Leaders development program in 2013. Since then, more than 500 leaders have engaged these resources in Sulam for Presidents and Sulam for Officers. Another 1000 board members have present in the 6-8 month intensive on site program called Sulam for Current Leaders Action Communities.

Although the upcoming Sulam for Officers will be virtual, the two-day leadership program will give officers the real resources and tools needed to increase their contributions to the synagogue leadership team. Through this training, synagogue officers will strengthen their organizational foundation so they are better equipped to face the future.

With seven hours of training over the course of two days, the following topics will be explored as a whole and in small, breakout groups:

  • Creating a mission and vision for your congregation
  • Managing the different personalities in your leadership
  • Developing a board improvement plan
  • Devising a membership committee strategy
  • Perfecting a budget framework
  • Preparing for future change

3 R’s: Relationships, Results and Renewal

The overarching theme of Sulam for Officers is that the road to becoming an effective leader and building trust and credibility is similar to running a campaign. It’s a multi- month process that builds momentum over the course of your term in office. It begins when you are recognized. You are given the gavel usually in (May- June.) You will soon sit at the head of the board table.

Building Relationships

Now the work begins. Leaders need to find out about their member’s talents and interests and then match them with the right work. They need to recruit the right individuals with strong organizational commitment, work ethic and expertise. They need to be able to set expectations for members and deliver on board member expectations for meaningful work. This requires agreement on how meetings will be managed. Presidents need to get their officers on the same page so that they can help get the whole board to work together.

Delivering Results

It is great to have teamwork. Ultimately the group needs to feel that board work is time well spent. They need to get results. The best way to foster a results driven culture is to have committees create job descriptions, define lay and staff roles, develop goals and then report on progress. This process shifts the board focus from reporting on news to reporting on results.

Leadership Renewal

The third “R” is Renewal, making sure that best practices are institutionalized and that there is a pipeline of leaders to ensure strength and continuity. In an environment where the president and board change every two years and we are dependent on volunteers, it’s important to have a formal structure in place so that knowledge can be passed on seamlessly. A board briefing book can memorialize collective learning. New leaders need to get off to a great start through formal onboarding programs


If you can strengthen the foundation of your leadership team, they will be empowered to address whatever comes our way in the future.

If you are interested in reading more please read our report, “Findings from the Board Self- Assessment.”

.If you are interested in going deeper, join us on line, for Sulam for Officers on May 17th- 18th! Register here.

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