Thinking Globally

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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.

It’s time to think globally. Too many shul’s suffer from a small minded perspective. They’re focused on their narrow membership base. Let me clarify, actually, not even their membership base. Shul’s tend to focus on the 5-10% of members who most frequently attend services. That small minded outlook inhibits growth, disengages those active members, and transforms our leadership work into tedious rote procedures. Try thinking globally.

Thinking globally is the notion that our shul’s are a mechanism by which we can learn how to better engage the broader world. One of the many benefits of a global outlook is that makes the mundane efforts of a congregation feel so much bigger and more significant.

Here are the 4 questions of globally focused shul:

1. What’s our cause?
Thinking about the broader purpose/mission is not just valuable for focusing efforts but it also aligns all the smaller projects and efforts toward one broader vision.

2. What are we rallying people about?
We love to excite our congregants. The Rabbi is interested in inspiring the community. The president is interested in mobilizing fundraising efforts. The executive director is interested in garnering support for each event. But at the end of the day, we all need something bigger that we are rallying people around. It could be Torah. It could be Progress. That’s up to you.

3. What are we doing communally?
We can choose to make a difference for the 5-10% that show up on time for Shacharis or we can choose to reach out to our membership and enable them to impact the greater community. We can empower our membership to pair up with a local Chesed organization. We can encourage our membership run a fundraiser for something in the community. There is so much we are capable of doing for our communities if we pulled our team together. The truth is that we are better for it. Giving to the community is an investment in you.

4. What are we doing with local politicians?
I know this question is random but it does express the sentiment that we really do care about the affairs of our local community. Partnering with law enforcement, civil policy makers, etc are all steps that convey the message that our Torah message is so much bigger than it may appear.

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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.