The Killer Question

hero image


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.

killer-question (2)Why do some programs flourish and some programs flop? Doesn’t it seem like some of the best ideas go unnoticed and just when you least expect it the most benign programs become a hit? The inconsistency of an idea’s success can leave your Rabbi and leadership in chronic stress mode. It’s time to take a little bit of control. After running programs of all types for over 10 years, it seems clear to me that there is one killer question you must ask to make your event success more certain:

Is it driven by the Rabbi/President or is it being driven by your members?

The Rabbi/President are invaluable in steering the event and giving the professional sophistication that it may need but seldom are they able to achieve an ongoing and new excitement for a particular string of events. Let your membership drive once in a while. It’s extremely healthy. When they are excited to run a program that tickles their fancy they’ll do everything in their power to make sure that their friends are there and their friends’ friends’ are there.

Yes, do be careful of members that can sabotage your events (we’ll talk about sabotaging members at a later post) and turn people away, but don’t be so controlling that you’re not willing to hand over the baton to somebody dreaming of making a difference.

I particularly find that Millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000) are aching to do something of meaning in the context of synagogue life. Use that urge.

To receive the OU Synablog to your inbox, please click here to sign up.

Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is a Musmach of Yeshiva University. He has served as the founder of WINGS a Synagogue Consulting group. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Rabbi Einhorn was the Rabbi of Manhattan’s West Side Institutional Synagogue where he helped grow the membership by 70% over 4 years. Currently, he is the Rav and Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh.