Year: 2012

A Community Response During Troubled Times

For many of us in New Jersey and New York, the past few weeks have been a challenge.  While my life was disrupted by Hurricane Sandy, it certainly pales in comparison to the tragedy and disruption to the lives of

Connecting With Young People Away at College

A few weeks ago, we visited our 18-year-old daughter at American University as a part of Parents Weekend. Universities today spend a great deal of effort and money marketing to parents. Not just for Parents Weekend, but every week! There

Synagogues, Clergy And Politics: Democracy In Action

I marvel at democracy in action. When our son Zack was in high school, his political views were always a bit more conservative than mine.  Hard to imagine, right? I loved our discussions about the candidates and about the issues,

Nametags and Welcoming

I have never been a big fan of nametags. I am not talking about nametags at big conventions. I realize there are many things to take into account at such gatherings like meals, security and the like. It is the

Bend The Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

Next Wednesday, I will be joining the staff of Bend The Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice as the Director of Development.  It is an exciting opportunity. Formerly known as the Jewish Funds for Justice, last year the organization merged

Benchmarks and Metrics: Using Data to Help Our Sacred Work

Data analysis is such a big part of decision making in business. Internet data is mined on a minute-by-minute basis.  “Clicks” and “hits” are words that we read about a lot. Sales, demographics, and costs dominate business pages and news

High Holy Days: Engaging Congregants Starts Now!

My apologies that this week’s Blog Post is a day later than usual. The High Holy Days kind of got in the way. As we all just experienced in the past few days, many people – beyond the core group

High Holy Day Tickets: Paying to Pray

Yesterday, I was reminded of a story when our High Holy Day Tickets arrived in the mail. A friend had recently shared with me why he and his family were not involved in synagogue life. When he was young, his

Discretionary Funds: Best Practices To Help The Community

In recent weeks, I have had a number of emails and calls about clergy discretionary funds.  My hunch is that this is purely a coincidence. When I read an article a few days ago in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal,

What Would Your Synagogue Do With A Bequest Of $100,000?

A congregant of many years has passed away and left your synagogue $100,000. What will you do with the money? Whatever the amount is of such kindness, how the money can be spent doesn’t change. If the congregant has specified