Smaller Congregations Share Ideas in Quest to Stay Vibrant

by Yisrael Shapiro. J, August 23, 2012. Accessed November 30, 2017.
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Here Jewish News Weekly ( contributor Yisrael Shapiro offers a brief article on the efforts made by congregations and judicatories from different Jewish traditions to address the challenges related to smaller congregations. One synagogue, for example, is partnering with other congregations to organize and lead larger community events. Additionally, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has begun to sponsor conferences specifically designed for small synagogue leaders. Shapiro also reports that the Union for Reform Judaism “has started the Small Congregations Network, aimed at increasing support to these communities and encouraging them to communicate among themselves about what strategies have been helpful,” including looking outside its own tradition and “taking good ideas wherever they can find them.” Some of the challenges are communication, education, relationships, volunteer management, and finances. This article is specific to Jewish congregations; however, the ideas and strategies can work for small congregations from other religious traditions as well.