Synagogue Brochure: How it creates value with your membership and community

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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.

 There are plenty of values in having a synagogue programming brochure.

The synagogue year needs to have a cadence and rhythm to its programming. Without proper thought ahead of time we tend to stick a collection of events in one cluster and then we go famine for another two months. Designing a brochure forces your programming team to think about how it wants to spread its content over the course of a year.

Marketing always needs to be re-imagined and diversified. The internet has, thank G-d, afforded us many ways to get our message out. Still, there are some marketing tools that are more reliable and successful than others. From my own experience, the brochure is one of them. A Facebook post every other week or a new flyer spread around town never really allows your target audience to see the full range and color of what you can do. Seeing everything that your shul is about in one context is powerful.

A lot has been written about the Mission Driven Synagogue (ala Rick Warren) but not a lot has been written about how to disseminate that mission of the shul. The brochure is a wonderful way to articulate your vision, express it through your programs and allow your intended audience to piece together the different elements that go into this vision.

A side-benefit of the Shul brochure and perhaps its most important benefit is that it’s a great tool to help cultivate new donors. Somebody who sponsors a program understands that once the program is over the impact of their sponsorship and visibility may be gone. However, with a brochure, their generosity is on display for a whole year! This is important to a donor not from an ego sense but from the sense of doing something right by the individual in honor of whom they are sponsoring.

There are many more values to creating a snazzy brochure but the biggest warning I can give you is this: DO NOT print up a brochure if you don’t have a plan in place how you are going to make sure EVERYBODY sees what you worked on. If a brochure falls in the forest and nobody is there to read it, is there really a brochure?

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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.