Building the Shul Brand

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Rabbi Einhorn’s SynaBlog is a new innovative blog that shares tips, tactics, strategies and best practices that enable Shul growth and promote Shul vitality.

Fred, synagogue President in Detroit, sent me a question this week: “How do we distinguish our shul from any other shul out there? It seems like we all more or less do the same thing?”

Okay Fred, great question. I like to look at it this way. Your shul is your product. Like any product it needs to have a brand/point of identity. It’s beyond the scope of our blog to discuss at length how to build a brand. Also, there’s an endless amount of books on this subject. To start you need two:

·         Contagious: Why things catch on by Jonah Berger

·         The Culture Engine by S. Chris Edmunds

(If you want summaries of the key ideas from 25 of these books, email me –

I just want to share with you a couple simple thoughts that are important to work with:

1)      The most important branding relationship you will have is with yourself – YOU NEED TO KNOW who you are as a shul. You can’t define yourself as shul x because you like what they’re doing in Miami at shul y. It needs to fit you.

2)      Almost, contradictory. Study the other shul brands and see what is working for them. Find the patterns of success (in a future blog post we will discuss “identifying patterns of success”).

3)      The more precise you are about what you want to do, the more successful you will be. Meaning – is your shul there to inspire? Is your shul there to provide a community service? To feed people? Identity what it is that your team wants to do. Make a precise image and then create a plan to go for it. The plan will probably not initially work so that means going to back to the drawing board and tweaking until it works but you will get there.

 Wishing you success,

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn