By Rabbi Robin Foonberg, JEA; Ned Gladstein, USCJ; Cantor David Lipp, CA; Fred Rothstein, NAASE and Rabbi Stewart Vogel, RA
May 7, 2020 / 13 Iyar, 5780
Over the past several weeks, each of us – the Cantors Assembly (CA), Jewish Educators Assembly (JEA), North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE), Rabbinical Assembly (RA) and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) – has been working with synagogue leadership and colleagues within and across our networks to address the issues and to find the opportunities that Covid-19 has brought us.
We are each turning now to preparations for the High Holidays – how we’ll hold services, reopen buildings, engage our broad membership, and address the myriad of financial implications upon us.
We have therefore joined together as a movement to support you as we address the challenges and opportunities of the forthcoming High Holiday season. In each community, the clergy, professionals, and lay leadership will confer to find the right approach for their particular circumstances. So we, too, are coming together to address the issues that are interconnected and critical at this important time.
Beginning this week, and continuing for the next several months, a task force made up of professionals and lay leadership from the CA, JEA, NAASE, RA and USCJ will meet regularly, bringing together experts and stakeholders, and creating resources and best practices for our communities in preparation for the High Holiday season. The project will include regular communication with all of our members on upcoming webinars, articles, and other resources. We will be setting up a social platform designed to receive feedback and questions from all of you — our members, colleagues, and stakeholders — to be as inclusive and responsive as possible. This will allow each of us to contribute learnings and best practices for our unique community.
We can learn from each other how to navigate these difficult times that are also replete with opportunities to engage our communities in new, compelling ways. We’ve seen, across synagogues, institutions, and USY, that community members who have never participated before are now stepping forward; some are even initiating new projects. We are both challenged and excited by the possibilities going forward. We have been inspired by the dedication and innovation each of you has brought to your community. Our effort here is to build on that. This is when our network of peers and colleagues shine – when we turn to each other and deepen our collaboration to enable us to each think, plan, and do more together than we can do alone.
Please reach out to your synagogue consultant with any questions.