Synagogue Consulting

Does your synagogue believe in finding new ways to promote growth and dynamism?

If the answer is “YES,” then the Orthodox Union can assist you!

Along with our creative and energetic staff, we have recruited a cohort of North America’s most innovative and experienced rabbis, executive directors, youth directors, and business experts. Our goal is to assist synagogues in problem solving, growing, restructuring, and sustaining their community by infusing them with inspiration and professionalism.  The Synagogue Services Team consults on a number of different topics, including:


Mission Statements and Strategic Planning

From Fortune 500 companies to small-town day schools, all successful organizations invest a considerable amount of time in the development of a mission statement. Why should a synagogue pay any less attention to its mission? A great mission statement will help steer, generate, and structure all of your synagogue’s programs and key decisions.

The Synagogue Services staff is trained in guiding your synagogue in developing the most on-point mission/vision statement. We will also show you how to use your mission statement to increase membership and improve overall involvement.


Membership Growth

Most synagogues are concerned with growing their membership. The Synagogue Services Team is skilled in harnessing your specific niche in membership growth. We can offer you the advantages of modern research and innovative outreach methods to help build your membership.  We will help you identify resources to attract and develop your membership.


Program Development

Nothing can create strong synagogue buzz better than a solid program. A well-planned and executed program enables a synagogue to educate and inspire its members.

Allow the Synagogue Services Team to help you generate original program ideas. Run your events at an affordable price; learn how to “layer” your programs over the course of the year so that you can achieve maximum benefit from them. Our team will also show you how to connect your synagogue activities and initiatives so that they generate long-term effects.


Youth Programming

Numerous studies have shown that one of the keys to building your synagogue is through the children. Families are drawn to synagogues with the best youth programming. Developing creative means by which to expand your youth program is critical to generating a healthy future.

The Synagogue Services’ Youth Professionals Network is equipped with over 400 creative program ideas and structural strategies that will spearhead a winning youth department.


The Art of the Shabbaton

The average Orthodox synagogue is open for business 24/7. However, with regard to impact, nothing compares to Shabbat. Families, guests, and singles all come together on the weekend, giving you 25 hours to inspire and woo your crowd.

The Synagogue Services Team can develop targeted Shabbatonim designed specifically for your demographic. We go beyond the costly and limited effect of a simple scholar-in-residence weekend to give you an all-inclusive thematic concept that will dazzle your congregants.


syng-serviceThe Service

Orthodox Synagogues can put their best feet forward in the way they conduct their services. A shacharit that moves too slowly may turn off new visitors. A mincha that moves too fast may drain the inspiration out of your synagogue.

Let the Synagogue Services Team help you develop the spirituality and tone of your tefillot with pinpointed suggestions that are based on our knowledge of your constituency and successful practices currently being used in synagogues worldwide.


The Committee/ Task Force

Synagogues typically try to pursue many great endeavors, but they often lack the support they need to be successful. Utilizing a committee in the optimal way will bolster your original ideas and invigorate your traditional events.

The Synagogue Services Team will help you determine those activities which require a committee, and those that can be accomplished with a task force. A sound volunteer group is much more than an inactive group of people sitting around a table; it is a sophisticated body that when given the tools can work in a synergistic fashion.


Fundraising and Budgeting

If you are looking to get a sense of how other synagogues allocate their budgets, to increase your revenue, or to ensure you are using your money effectively, ask the Synagogue Services Team to share with you what has worked for others in the past.


Marketing

Promote, Promote, Promote. Synagogues are not above the need to get their message out to the public. You may have the best chazan, rabbi, and program idea, but if nobody gets to hear about them—what have you achieved?

With our six-point plan you will be able to effectively share your strengths and events with those who need to know. Learn how to advertise some of the more significant landmarks of the year without draining your time and budget.


Office Management

Synagogues face enough challenges; they should not need to also struggle with inefficiencies in the office. Is your executive director given the freedom and guidance needed to develop your programming? Is your secretary taking all-inclusive snapshots for your visitor profiles? Your office should be running like a well-greased machine.

Our team will show you professional business model strategies that will allow you to ensure that your synagogue office staff is working together efficiently. We will be your office partner, helping to generate synergy in your synagogue.


Activism and Public Policy

Some synagogues find that being vocal about Israel and social activism boosts their membership. Moreover, a healthy dose of synagogue activism can help bolster synagogue involvement and camaraderie.

The Synagogue Services Team is connected to a wide network of activists and organizations—including the OU’s Washington-based OU Advocacy Center—that can help provide you with dynamic avenues of expression.


Synagogue Services Consulting Services is an initiative of the Karasick Department of Synagogue Services of the Orthodox Union.

Rabbi Judah Isaacs; Director of Community Engagement. Call 212-613-8336. Or email synagogue@ou.org.