Back To Shul Grant
When presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring members back with a renewed sense of excitement and energy, these shuls stood up and stood out. The OU is proud to have enable many activities that will bring members back to shul, safety permitting, as the COVID-19 pandemic concerns are lessened.
Events, Shabbatons, Tefilla and Music
Congregation AABJ&D West Orange, NJ
West Orange, NJ
Bring in the Backyard- Creating backyard minyan spaces in Shul. This proposal recognizes that people are comfortable in the backyard Minyanim, enjoying the laid back approach, unconstrained by traditional Shul rules, so how do we persuade them to come back. B"H we have space in our Shul, so the approach is to ask the Minyanim to come back in their current "backyard" form. The message is just come back and be on the Shul premises. If they want to be outside, we'll get them tents and they can be outside. They want to be inside, we'll give them space inside. They can run their own minyan under the same conditions that they are operating under today in the backyard. No one in the Shul will tell them what to do, they can start whenever they want, skip whatever they want. At the end of davening, we will provide "to go kiddushim" for the first few weeks so that everyone can get reacquainted. The hope is that once they are in the building with the regular minyanim and rest of the membership, the "backyard" Minyanim will dissipate and dissolve on their own, and we'll be able to get back to some kind of normal. This would hopefully put us in a position to have a major Kiddush celebration right before Rosh Hashana.
Beth David Synagogue West Hartford, CT
Beth David Synagogue
West Hartford, CT
Baal Tefilla in Residence- Baalei Tefilah will spend a Shabbat with the congregation once a month for a few months. The plan as envisioned, is to create a visiting "Baal Tefilah" program. The synagogue does not have a chazzan and very few of our members are able to lead a Shabbat davening. What we envision is reaching out to the Belz School, at Yeshiva University as well as a cappella groups like Six13 and Maccabeats, hoping that "baalei tefilah" would be willing to spend a Shabbat with our congregation once a month for a few months. Music is an important component of tefilah b'tzibbur for our community; and knowing that a Shabbat davening would be led in a masterful way would surely draw members and potential members to these services. Plus, new melodies that we learn could be used for future Shabbat mornings when we would be on our own.
Congregation Rodfei Sholom San Antonio, TX
Congregation Rodfei Sholom
San Antonio, TX
"Make Up Shabbos"- An opportunity to make up missed milestones, such as bnei mitzvot, yahrtzeits, and baby namings. This proposal believes there are a number of hurdles getting people back into synagogue. Firstly, you need to get them back into the building at least once so they can see for themselves that its safe and feels good to be back. Until you have gone back to somewhere you stayed away from during Covid in the back of your mind it is still unsafe until you actually step foot there. Secondly, Shul is no longer part of the routine. Thirdly, people are questioning what they actually got from going to Shul much they like they question now why they have to work in an office. You can plan a social event, meaning food, to address the first 2. I remember seeing an article about a military family that celebrated all the holidays and birthdays that their father was going to miss before deployment the whole week before he left. We can make a kiddush for all the bar and bat mitzvahs over the past year and invite everyone to participate. The next month for all the baby namings and Brissim missed. After that for yahzeits missed. The families with the missed simchas would receive an aliyah on their respective Kiddush Shabbat with candy throwing, singing, and special Mi Sheberach. Yahzeit would have special Keil Maleh and Lchayims. To address the third concern I believe each Shul must introduce dynamic opportunists for inspirational growth. This is harder to achieve and would be tailored more per community. I would like to start an outreach kollel. For this grant we will apply only for the monthly or bi monthly kiddush. 3 in total. One for bnei mitzvah, one for babies, and one for yahrzeits missed during Covid.
Young Israel of West Hartford West Hartford, CT
Young Israel of West Hartford
West Hartford, CT
Shabbat Under the Stars -Tefilla under the stars to create a unique ambiance to jump start the excitement of tefilla in Shul. Program Description: Family/Youth focused Friday afternoon (Plag) Kabbalat Shabbat, Maariv and kids dinner. Target: Families with younger children. Shabbat Under The Stars Program Description: Family/Youth focused Friday afternoon (Plag) Kabbalat Shabbat, Maariv and kids dinner. Target: Families with younger children. Theory: Many families with young children have not yet come back to shul for a number of reasons including (1) lack of stable youth programs (2) comfort staying at home (3) mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals etc. This program will give these young families whom have not really been in shul for almost a year and half an opportunity to come back. It will be a spiritual uplifting musical and age-appropriate program/davening; plus, it takes care of dinner for kids and provides a social outlet for adults – all are important factors in bringing families with young children out. Jump starting the process of bringing people back will let to people breaking out of the inertia of not coming. Campaign Title: It’s Time to Come Back to Shul: it’s Time to Return Home
Young Israel of Brookline Brookline, MA
Young Israel of Brookline
Parlor Meeting Discussions- A series of small-group "parlor" events, each hosted by the Rabbi and 2-3 shul members, which will allow learning and socializing in an intimate setting, in order to rebuild (or build anew) those crucial connections within the community. As we slowly resume more in-person programming, and more community members are comfortable returning to shul for davening, one of our shul's biggest challenges will be reconnecting and rebuilding relationships within the community. A year of lost small talk at kiddush, shul lunches and dinners, in-person classes, and much else, has weakened community connections. In our area, where we are blessed with a vibrant Jewish community and many shuls to choose from, we know that it often is the people and the personal connections that make the difference and ultimately will be what brings others back in our doors. We propose a series of small-group "parlor" events, each hosted by the Rabbi and 2-3 shul members, which will allow learning and socializing in an intimate setting, in order to rebuild (or build anew) those crucial connections within our community. We know that when we hold large, shul-wide events, people navigate to their own friends and social circles, and are less likely to welcome the unfamiliar or branch out to build new relationships. By personally inviting every shul member, as well as newcomers to our area who are not yet members, to a smaller, more intimate, hosted event, the goal is to facilitate rebuilding and creating connections within the community, and not merely strengthening existing friendships. Specifically, each parlor event, which will take place over the course of approximately 3 months, will consist of a welcome from the hosts, a d'var Torah from the Rabbi, followed by a variety of activities, including light competition, which will be selected to facilitate collaboration, communication, and relationship-building. Activities will include trivia, graham cracker shul replica competition, and shul riddle/scavenger hunt. We will provide a light meal (falafel) or drinks and appetizers/desserts, depending on time of day, as well as a goody bag for each attendee to make the experience positive and memorable.
Young Israel of Oak Park Oak Park, MI
Young Israel of Oak Park
Oak Park, MI
Themed Shabbaton Series-The month would consist of four themed Shabbosim, which would reflect on our values and the tools we relied on to carry each other through this challenging time. The Shul’s mission statement includes a commitment to prayer, study and social interaction in order to further our spiritual growth. To meet that commitment, we are proposing a “Welcome Back Month” to encourage both old and new members to return to our shul. The month would consist of four themed Shabbosim which would reflect on our values and the tools we relied on to carry each other through this challenging time. The themed Shabbosim would include a focus on tefillah, health, happiness and community. Each Shabbos would include a D'var Torah delivered by the Rabbi, a small gift for each participant and an outdoor socially distanced kiddush. These elements would all follow the respective week’s theme to help build excitement among the congregation. As COVID regulations are still in flux, the hope is that while welcoming the community back to our physical shul, everyone will feel comfortable participating at some level—whether indoors or outdoors. By way of example, a Shabbos centered around “tefillah” may include a D’var Torah on the importance of prayer and how we as a community came together to daven for those impacted by COVID-19. We may also print Sifrei Tehillim as a giveaway and use that as an opportunity to remember and elevate the neshama of a shul member who lost his battle with COVID. And finally, a kiddush may include tables with food for each brachah, encouraging everyone to maximize their communication with Hashem, both when asking for help and appreciating the gifts we have received. By connecting our davening, D'var Torah and kiddush with an overall theme, we hope to elevate the in-person shul experience so that we can once again enjoy the spiritual closeness we had before the pandemic.
Young Israel of Scarsdale Scarsdale, NY
Young Israel of Scarsdale
Shabatonim Targeting Different Age Groups-Three similar, yet, distinct programs over one Shabbat at some point in the summer that would target three different age groups. They are creating three similar, yet, distinct programs over one Shabbat at some point in the summer that would target three different age groups. On Friday night, we would have a Shabbat dinner for all above the age of 60 in our community in our large outdoor tent. This would be a fitting setting for everyone to feel safe, yet it can be a great first moment of people safely coming together in the context of our shul community in about a year and a half. We would also do this for those in between 45-59 for Shabbat lunch and then have a Shalosh Seudot dinner for young families with their children. Finally, we would envision bringing everyone together outdoors for Havdalah and a Melave Malka. Each program would be connected to Tefillah prior to the meal so as to connect so many who have been away from shul back to shul in a spiritual way as well as in a social way. We would envision bringing some sort of Shabbat-friendly entertainment for the adults such a comedian or a singer and would feature engaging programming for children at Shalosh Seudot such as a magic show.
Congregation Machzikei Hadas Ottawa, ON
Congregation Machzikei Hadas
Celebration of Missed Milestones- We have missed the celebration and observance of life-cycle events together as a community. But it doesn't need to be that way. We propose four make up events, three simchas and one memorial event.
Boston University Hillel Boston, MA
Boston University Hillel
Communal Public Sukkah- Building a communal sukkah to attract college students. As for many shuls and communities, the COVID pandemic has been extremely challenging for the Orthodox minyan at the University. With campus restrictions on in-person gatherings and sharing of meals, the students have done their best to keep the kehillah united and engaged with davening and learning but it has been a struggle. Even in this difficult year, Nafsheinu, our Orthodox student group on campus, has had over 1,000 attendances, but we know this can be even more next year as we’re planning for a vaccinated and open campus (b”h) in the Fall. Sukkos falls within the first few weeks of the Fall Semester at Boston University. This is the time when students are finding their friends, new and old, and figuring out how they want to build meaningful and joyous Jewish lives on campus. After three semesters of pandemic conditions, they need to feel safe, comfortable and excited about being back together. The new semester will be a fully reopened campus and Orthodox synagogue, and we propose the following programs to rejuvenate the community, most of which involve free food, which our statistics show is the best way to attract jews and college students, kal vichomer Jewish college students. Sukkos will be the perfect opportunity to bring these students together for learning, davening and socially too, and help them feel at home so that they keep coming back all year long. We will be building a large sukkah in the middle of campus. Students don’t have any other places to eat on campus without it, and so providing this sukkah is essential in ensuring they can come back fully to our synagogue. Nafsheinu, will host 4 great events aimed at bringing people back together. We are expecting 200 attendances across these events which will re-engage our students and show them all Hillel has to offer. Shakshukah in the Sukkah accompanied by a shiur led by Rabbi Yitzi will give students the space to learn and connect over a meal - something we haven’t been able to do in a very long time. We will also have a bagel brunch following one of our first daily minyanim of the school year, encouraging new students to come to minyan with their friends! Lastly we will host a special Shabbos during chol hamoed, providing free shabbos meals for all students, followed by havdalah and movie night in the sukkah. This four part program will be the perfect way to connect with students right at the start of the year and give them a taste of all the different types of Jewish programming happening at the University!
Congregation Emek Beracha Palo Alto, CA
Congregation Emek Beracha
Palo Alto, CA
NFT Auction- The NFT’s will include: Dvarei Torah as well as original art. To drive excitement in a return to normal, they will launch a “back to shul” program that re-establishes us as our area’s Orthodox shul and community center by offering something for everyone: learning, davening, childrens’ activities, and adult socializing. The program will consist of at least four events in the following format: a TED-style talk featuring a layperson in the community, followed by a related Dvar Torah, and concluding with an adult social. Childrens’ programming will also be offered during each program. As we are In the heart of an innovative area, on any given Shabbat at shul one may speak with an entrepreneur, professor, author, inventor, and even a Nobel laureate. The TED Talk-style lectures will feature members discussing an area of expertise or research, followed by a Rabbi to share a halachic perspective on a related topic. The adult social that follows these discussions will vary at each event, consisting of paint night, sushi making, and an NFT auction, as examples. We are very excited about the NFT auction. We were one of the first shuls in the country to publish a website. We look forward to launching some of the first NFT’s. Beyond being among the first, we see this as a new medium to help spread Jewish thought, creativity, and learning. The NFT’s will include dvarei Torah as well as original art. Our back to shul program will offer something for everyone in a content-rich, entertaining, and enriching format. We look forward to using this program as a launching pad to towards normal attendance and activities at the shul.
Kesher Israel Harrisburg, PA
Gratitude to Hashem Program- A shabbaton to celebrate our gratitude to Hashem for vanquishing this plague, will be held when our government agencies establish that it is safe to resume normal community activities without masks or numerical limitations. Due to the coronavirus , our Shul closed all in person activity immediately after Purim 2020. An outdoor minyan resumed during the summer of 2020 and a limited participant indoor minyan restarted with the High Holidays. Since then, a daily minyan has been maintained. A typical pre pandemic Shabbos morning service would attract 40-50 men and nearly the same number of women. By Kiddush time young children would grace the building. At the present time, only 15-20 men and 2 -5 women attend Shabbos morning. Pre Bar and Bat Mitzvah age children have simply not been allowed. Our plan is simple. A shabbaton to celebrate our gratitude to Hashem for vanquishing this plague will be held when our government agencies establish that it is safe to resume normal community activities without masks or numerical limitations. A musical group will be brought in to enhance our morning service. This will be followed by a luncheon enriched by words of torah and singing. Motzei Shabbos, music attractive for all ages will be provided by our entertainers. As the saying goes-If you feed them, entertain them, and let them show their appreciation to Hashem communally, they will come.
Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse Syracuse, NY
Shaarei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse
Acapella Shabbos- This includes a Carlbach Kabbalot Shabbot and Mussaf of singing and dancing. In an effort to regain connection with our members and the community at large, this shul would like to host, a few weeks after Yom Tov (Tishrei), An Acapella Shabbos. This would include a Carlbach Kabbalot Shabbot and Mussaf of singing and dancing. The Shabbot Kiddush will be an extended Kiddush at no charge to attendees. We envision beautiful Zemiros. (The Kiddush is already sponsored). Additionally in the afternoon the group will visit, our local Jewish Senior Citizens Facility and sing with the seniors. The Acapella group will be. As an outreach shul, we see this a s a perfect follow up to the Yom Toveem.
Am HaTorah Congregation of Bethesda Bethesda, MD
Am HaTorah Congregation of Bethesda
Welcome Back to Shul Concert at the beginning of June, featuring a well known American-Israeli Jewish rock band, Shlock Rock, playing in an outdoor public venue near our synagogue. They are planning to hold a Welcome Back-to Shul Concert at the beginning of June, featuring a well known American-Israeli Jewish rock band, Shlock Rock, playing in an outdoor public venue near their synagogue. We would advertise it well, not only to members who have been leery during the epidemic of attending classes and services, but to the local Jewish Community at large. They would charge fairly nominal prices, lower for Seniors and Teenagers. Furthermore, they would offer a discount to anyone newly attending, or signing up to attend, a short segment of any of several regular weekly classes taught by the Rabbis, including those aimed at adolescents. They would also offer a discount to those offering to sponsor a Shabbos morning Kiddush. In brief, they would use the concert as an incentive to encourage people to get involved, or more involved, in the learning opportunities the shul has to offer and to encourage their physical return to shul.
Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation -AG Beth Israel Lincolnwood, IL
Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation -AG Beth Israel
City Wide/Multiple Shul Back to Shul Shabbaton- A full-scale weekend event, bringing in a prominent Jewish speaker/singer from outside the community, would appeal to members to come back for an exciting program. Bringing Shul membership back to in-person participation is essential to fulfill the primary functions of the Shul: Tefillah, Torah and Community. A full-scale weekend event, bringing in a prominent Jewish speaker/singer from outside the community, would appeal to members to come back for an exciting program. The theme of the weekend would be “davening and learning together in our Shul community.” The Back to Shul Shabbaton would demonstrate that in-person events are vital to community life and can be held while embracing all necessary protections against the spread of COVID. We believe this event would engage our Shul membership and would love if we could coordinate with shuls across Chicago and the country to pick the same Shabbat, and then advertise the event as "Back to Shul Shabbat 2021". The weekend would start with “Shabbat under the Stars,” with Kabbalat Shabbat services followed by an outdoor Shabbat dinner, with each meal individually packaged. In inclement weather (or where outdoor seating is impractical), socially distanced seating would be arranged with family groups or vaccinated individuals seated together and unvaccinated individuals provided with distanced seating. Shabbat morning, the guest speaker/chazzan will lead davening or give the drasha. Following davening there would be a special delux Kiddush/luncheon with a shiur from the guest speaker/rabbi. Sunday late morning early afternoon there will be an outdoor picnic/barbeque. If it is feasible to coordinate with other shuls in the community, (and safe to do so) ideally the other Shuls in the community would all organize the picnic together to make it a community-wide program. Additionally, to keep the costs of the guest speaker/chazan down, they can coordinate with neighboring Shuls to share in the cost by sharing his time between several Shuls during the course of the weekend.
LINK Shul Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Back To Shul Fair- which includes booths and stands highlighting the unique opportunities shuls provide and allowing members to experience the reopening in a fun environment. The fair will serve to excite and inform attendees about the shul’s existing plans for the coming year, while simultaneously motivating them to become proactive in helping with the causes/areas/projects which they personally care about. Jews love to share their ideas, and under the right circumstances (---an exciting, uniting fair), they will jump at the opportunity to do so and many will even jump to bring them to fruition. Mimicking the general concept of Back to School Fairs, which typically feature rows and rows of booths manned by one or two people who are knowledgeable and passionate about a certain subject or cause, the "Back to Shul Fair" will similarly showcase all that Jewish communal life has to offer and will offer, category by category. Booths will be individually represented by the shul’s members according to who is already in charge / passionate about the following categories: Learning, Tefillah, Women’s Programs, Social, Youth Programs, General Resources, Partnerships, Etc. There can even be booths with names more specific to the calendar year, like projects featuring specific chagim. More general community resources can also be featured, i.e. Hatzalah, (whose rep’s can actively engage new recruits), Bikur Cholim, Shomrim, etc., which can pitch their organization or service. It can also include a compilation of local Jewish job listings, or career training opportunities, for example. By including a “New Ideas” box at each booth (where visitors can submit their own), along with sign-up sheets to “Join a Project” or “Create a New Program”, the fair essentially serves as a live springboard to generate new ideas for the shul across the board from the members themselves, igniting passions both old and new, and building teams to make things happen. We Jews are creative people. We’ll get to hear from those individuals who may have a fantastic, innovative idea for the shul, but just may not have otherwise been motivated to get involved. Like-minded members will join together to start new initiatives within their own area of interest which, most importantly, can build unity and momentum for the coming year for all shul-goers, regardless of their age or the reason(s) they are affiliated with the shul. Some booths at the fair will provide carnival-like fun for the kids, snacks and drinks, etc. to engage the youth, perhaps with raffles as well. Energizing Jewish music playing in the background (or live music, if possible) will set the tone for a new chapter after a year of collective and individual traumas. Ideally it will happen in Ellul / early autumn, when we are preparing to turn over a new leaf and re-calibrate for the New Year: an ideal time to leverage the existing energy of rejuvenation that permeates throughout Jewish communities. The Back to Shul Fair will serve the dual purpose of reuniting members and members-to-be at an engaging live event, while recharging peoples’ batteries and reminding them why we all need to be a part of the changes we want to see.
Boca Raton Synagogue Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton Synagogue
Boca Raton, FL
Meet and Greet Program at Shul- A meet-and-greet program where Shul members proactively reconnect with their fellow members who had been distanced over the course of the pandemic. In an effort to return people to our campus, ensure that members who moved in over the COVID pandemic meet other members, and continue to strengthen relationships within the community, we propose a shabbos to meet and get to know each other better. That starts by learning each other's names at the name tag shabbaton during Elul. Members will be given name tags as they enter shul on shabbos morning and will be encouraged to wear the tags throughout davening in order to help connect with one another. This will be followed by a "welcome back" kiddush where members can socialize and feel a greater sense of community.
Adas Torah Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
"See You In Shul" Adult Engagement Series-"See You in Shul" series will jump-start re-engagement and reintegration of a broad spectrum of community members in the neighborhood. "See You in Shul" series will jumpstart reengagement and reintegration of a broad spectrum of community members in the neighborhood. Through 12 months of regularly scheduled exciting programs carefully designed to attract individuals from many segments of our constituency, See You in Shul will recreate the social cohesion so deeply missed and nurture members' intellectual, spiritual, and emotional connection with our Shul and with Yiddishkeit in general. Launching in Elul 5781, See You in Shul will offer robust community-wide programming consisting of: --High-profile Scholar-in-Residence over Shabbos every 6-8 weeks (to include Shabbos lunch together with speaker and all interested shul families) --High-profile guest singer/chazzan 3x/year --Women's night out every 6 weeks --Men's Rosh Chodesh dinner / speaker every 2 months --Couples' Shalom Bayis workshops monthly --Chulent & Schmooze with the Rabbi hosting various guest speakers monthly The special guests will be carefully selected and the events run to the utmost quality in order to create a sense of "FOMO" ("fear of missing out") that will propel even the most reluctant shul-goer back into the pews!
Congregation Ohav Zedek Wilkes-Barre, PA
Congregation Ohav Zedek
Multi-Shul Collaborative Education Series- A program where multiple shuls join together for an educational program that will bring in members of each shul as well as broader community members. Context: Covid eliminated our most successful learning program: a live Monday evening shiur that attracted up to 20 people (half were not even members of the shul). Most have never returned to the the weekly Zoom classes that I give in concert with the rabbis of other Shuls in our area. Vision: Together with our Rabbinic Partners, we wish to re-ignite the weekly in person learning that we have all lost. After Simchat Torah, IY"H, Rabbi Mordechai Becher will give 3 in-person shiurim in each of our communities over the span of 6 weeks. The local rabbi will each give an in-person shiur the week following Rabbi Becher's visit in order to build local momentum following Rabbi Becher's class. Each shul will provide a special gastronomic Judaism component (Chinese buffet) to compliment Rabbi Becher's talk with food and much needed socialization.
Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park West Hempstead, NY
Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park
West Hempstead, NY
Influencers Program- A series featuring prominent Jewish Internet Influencers, who will each address aspects of the theme "Attracting Shulgoers in a Highly Distracted and Hyper Connected World." Our Shul would like to do a speaker series featuring prominent Jewish Internet Influencers who will each address aspects of the theme "Attracting Shulgoers in a Highly Distracted and Hyper Connected World." Speakers might include Rabbi Efrem Goldberg (Behind the Bima), Allison Josephs (Jew in the City), Rabbi Aaron Lebowitz (Alldaf Podcast) and Avital Chizhik- Goldshmidt (Journalist, Rebbetzin and Internet personality) among others. The program is for all members but is specifically targeting our younger married demographic who are the biggest challenge in terms of returning to shul. It is this group that will relate most to the online and social media profiles of our speakers. For our shul it is vital to open up a dialogue directly addressing the issues and challenges of traditional tefilah in modern society. There are a number of important issues that need to be addressed ranging from the attention span of Generation Z to the general spirituality of our younger membership. The speakers themselves will attract members back into the building for services but will also open up a much needed dialogue regarding the role of shul in communal life. Our membership wants a say in how our shul is run and this will give them the opportunity to have their voices heard and focus on the future of our community in a fun and interesting setting. We will pair the speaking events with youth events and a reinvigorated junior congregation to accommodate child care needs.
Lido Beach Synagogue Lido Beach, NY
Lido Beach Synagogue
Lido Beach, NY
Collaborative Education Campaign- A lecture series that will feature local panelists as well as nationally renowned experts. Our two synagogues on Long Island, NY, are poised to leverage the large beach communities that descend on the island during the spring and summer months, in order to promote the aforementioned campaign throughout the summer months. The goal is to remind our local Jewish community how our shuls are the central spokes of Yiddishkeit in our lives. We don’t need to educate them: we simply need to remind them. The method we plan to use is a lecture series that will feature local panelists as well as nationally renowned experts. We will create two huge banners which will hang on our respective shuls proclaiming the campaign title to advertise the campaign. All this in addition to a robust publicity blitz in local newspapers (both local and Long Island-wide), email, social media and looking to advertise on the very popular Long Beach boardwalk. The program would kick off with a panel discussion taking place in one of the shuls on the need to return to normalcy. We would endeavor to invite the following (or others if they are not available), with whom we have direct connections: Dr. David Pelcovitz from a mental health perspective; Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt from a medical and rabbinic perspective; a local school administrator. We would have the program professionally recorded so other OU shuls could watch it, or it could be used at a later time. There will not be a zoom option for this program as that would defeat the purpose. The subsequent lectures would feature relevant discussions revolving around Shul functions, moderated by one of the rabbis. Each would feature local panelists (to draw participants), a nationally renowned speaker, and some practical aspect of it. Topics would include: Shul as Social Center/Kiddush with foodies and food trucks/food demo; Shul as Locus of Music and Tefillah with a Jewish music concert; Shul as Pillar of Chessed, featuring a Tomchei Shabbos campaign food packaging at the conclusion of the program; Shul as Pillar of Torah, featuring a shiur and plans to build talmud Torah locally.
BACH Jewish Center Long Beach, NY
BACH Jewish Center
Long Beach, NY
Collaborative Education Campaign- A lecture series that will feature local panelists as well as nationally renowned experts. Their two synagogues on Long Island, NY, are poised to leverage the large beach communities that descend on the island during the spring and summer months, in order to promote the aforementioned campaign throughout the summer months. The goal is to remind their local Jewish community how the shuls are the central spokes of Yiddishkeit in their lives. They don’t need to educate them: they simply need to remind them. The method they plan to use is a lecture series that will feature local panelists as well as nationally renowned experts. They will create two huge banners which will hang on our respective shuls proclaiming the campaign title to advertise the campaign. All this in addition to a robust publicity blitz in local newspapers (both local and Long Island-wide), email, social media and looking to advertise on the very popular Long Beach boardwalk. The program would kick off with a panel discussion taking place in one of the shuls on the need to return to normalcy. They would endeavor to invite the following (or others if they are not available), with whom we have direct connections: Dr. David Pelcovitz from a mental health perspective; Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt from a medical and rabbinic perspective; a local school administrator. They would have the program professionally recorded so other OU shuls could watch it, or it could be used at a later time. There will not be a zoom option for this program as that would defeat the purpose. The subsequent lectures would feature relevant discussions revolving around Shul functions, moderated by one of the rabbis. Each would feature local panelists (to draw participants), a nationally renowned speaker, and some practical aspect of it. Topics would include: Shul as Social Center/Kiddush with foodies and food trucks/food demo; Shul as Locus of Music and Tefillah with a Jewish music concert; Shul as Pillar of Chessed, featuring a Tomchei Shabbos campaign food packaging at the conclusion of the program; Shul as Pillar of Torah, featuring a shiur and plans to build talmud Torah locally.
Congregation Beth Jacob Atlanta, GA
Congregation Beth Jacob
Shul Volunteer Day- Hosting a shul based “volunteer day” for shul members to engage in chessed activities through the shul, hosting a Shabbaton for the single population to simply welcome them back. Volunteer Day will bring members back to Shul with hands-on buy-in, and to work together on making improvements to the Shul campus and engage in multiple community mitzvah opportunities - all in one space and one day. Participants of all ages can choose from multiple volunteer projects - including landscape cleanup and planting, improving Shul spaces, or joining one of the mitzvah stations in the social hall (preparing packages for seniors, flower bouquets for those who need cheering up, food prep for those who need meal assistance, etc…, baking for Shul Kiddush) All participants will receive Shul swag - hats or t-shirts, and can enjoy a refreshments station with fun snacks and drinks, or, depending on time of year and weather, cap off the day with an outdoor barbecue dinner.
Beth Haknesseth Ohr Hamizrach Brooklyn, NY
Beth Haknesseth Ohr Hamizrach
Food Pantry at Shul- Re-purposing the Shul into a soup kitchen to provide food for the needy within the community and social engagement opportunities for shul members.
Dating and Marriage
Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah (MMAE) Baltimore, MD
Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah (MMAE)
Shul Based Marriage Enrichment Program- Each month, at a melava malka at the shul, the couples will eat and then discuss and process an aspect of marriage improvement guided by Torah texts.
Young Israel of the West Side New York, NY
Young Israel of the West Side
New York, NY
Shul Based - Shidduch Initiative-Hosting a singles Shabbaton and a matchmaking initiative geared toward making singles feel comfortable in the shul.
The Jewish Center New York, NY
The Jewish Center
New York, NY
Re-Engaging Seniors Program- Engaging a social worker to engage seniors in the shul and creating specific shiurim and programs geared toward ensuring seniors will feel comfortable in the Shul environment.
Young Israel Aish Las Vegas, NV
Young Israel Aish
Las Vegas, NV
Rejuvenating Families Women's Education Program- Bring in the Yoetzet Halacha, for a special Shabbat during which there would be an inaugural return to Shul luncheon for the young families.
DAT Minyan Denver, CO
Shabbos Afternoon Women's Learning Program- Local or national professionals will be brought in several times a year to teach on Shabbat, or give month-long series.
Young Israel of Great Neck Great Neck, NY
Young Israel of Great Neck
Great Neck, NY
Kids Bring Parents to Shul Program-Using incentives to encourage youth to bring their parents to Shul.
Young Israel of Cherry Hill Cherry Hill, NJ
Young Israel of Cherry Hill
Cherry Hill, NJ
Youth Incentive Program- Kids are offered "Young Israel Bucks" for coming and davening in Shul.
Darchei Noam Fair Lawn, NJ
Fair Lawn, NJ
Girls Chessed Program- The Notenet Girls Chessed program is an initiative that involved engaging girls from the shuls in a chessed project that expanded connection to the entire family. The Notenet Girls Chesed Program is a monthly event for girls in grades 3-8. The word “Notenet,” is Hebrew for “she gives,” and this term became the program’s title because it describes the essence and core value that the program embodies. Each month, a woman from the community will teach the girls a new skill (some examples include calligraphy, flower arrangements, event-planning, and cake decorating). The girls will use this skill to create a project that will be donated to a chesed cause. For example, flower arrangements can be donated to residents in a nursing home, cards may be designed using calligraphy and delivered to children in the hospital, while individually-packaged and decorated cupcakes can be donated to enhance the simcha of someone who may not be able to afford “extras”. Each event will also include a discussion of the intended population, organization, and/or cause we are helping with our chesed, as well as the Torah source or context that connects to that event’s chesed theme. The girls will gain the following from each event: A new skill that they can use again and again. New and strengthened friendships with other girls in the community. An understanding of the organization or cause that items were donated to. Knowledge of the sources in the Torah for various types of chesed. A connection to shul as a place to learn, give, and socialize. Specifically, the Notenet Girls Chesed Program will also achieve the goal of bringing members of our Shul back to shul. Although this event will take place on Sundays, shul is not just about Shabbat nor is shul just about davening. Our Shul is focused on connections: To God through davening and learning To each other through social events Our Shul strives to bring our children into these connections and show them the importance of connecting to God and connecting to the community through the shul. The obvious connection between the Notenet Girls Chesed Program and bringing people back to shul is that girls in grades 3-8 will come back to shul to participate in the event. In-person participation will evolve as the state Covid guidelines and the guidance of our medical committee change. To start, the event will take place outside with an option to join on Zoom for those unable to attend in person. In addition to bringing girls back to shul, women in the community will come back to shul to share their expertise in the teaching portion of the program. As the girls develop friendships and reconnect with friends they may not have seen in over a year, they will continue to come back to shul for this and other programs such as Youth Groups on Shabbat morning and other youth events. This excitement will hopefully permeate the entire family and motivate other members of the family to come back to shul for davening, learning, and events.
Congregation Or Torah Skokie, IL
Congregation Or Torah
Hessed Yibaneh - A Boxed Collection of Youth Materials
Young Israel of Sharon Sharon, MA
Young Israel of Sharon
Shabbox with Materials for Youth Tefilla Education
ASKT - Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah Glendale, WI
ASKT - Anshe Sfard Kehillat Torah
Telem Youth Messaging Campaign- TeLeM stands for Tefillah, Limmud, and Mischak (Prayer, Learning and Play) and the idea is to create fun events which will help get members involved in Shul life again.
Congregation KINS of West Rogers Park Chicago, IL
Congregation KINS of West Rogers Park
Youth Messaging Campaign- For 6 weeks in the summer each age group will be highlighted in the Shul by means of videos, articles, Drashos, and more- focusing on their role within communal life. For 6 weeks in the summer we will highlight each age group in the Shul by means of videos, articles, Drashos, and more- focusing on their role within communal life. The 6 age groups will be: 1) Youth (Nursery - 4th Grade) 2) Middle School ( 5th - 8th Grade) 3) Teens (High School) 4) Young adults 5) Middle-age adults 6) Seniors At the conclusion of this program we will put together a Shul Shabbaton in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, including educational programming with speakers from our own shul, Shul swag, activities , and babysitting for each age group. The campaign will also feature a video highlighting the benefits in being part of a community. We hope that through this initiative, members feel their own importance of being part of our shul and our community The Roslyn Synagogue is presented with a unique opportunity. At the same time as reopening many of our shul programs and activities, we are also installing a new senior rabbi after the astounding forty-five year career of our founding senior rabbi. We hope to use this exciting time to bring back our membership and to spread our programming to the broader Roslyn community.
Questions? Contact Rabbi Adir Posy at email@example.com