OU’s Synagogue Executive Directors Conference in Atlanta, November 15-17

November 3, 2015

The Annual Orthodox Union Executive Directors Conference will once again bring together synagogue administrators from across North America to discuss how to create an atmosphere of a mikdash me’at, a smaller version of the Holy Temple, within their local synagogues. The Conference will be held in Atlanta from Sunday, November 15-Tuesday, November 17 at the Young Israel of Toco Hills and Beth Jacob Congregation. Many of the scheduled workshops will consist of interaction among the participants themselves, with the sharing of information and ideas.

The Conference is a project of the Karasick Department of Synagogue Services at the Orthodox Union, under the direction of Yehuda Friedman, associate director of OU Synagogue Services and regional director for Long Island, NY. Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Congregation Beth Jacob and Rabbi Adam Starr of the Young Israel of Toco Hills will be among the main presenters at the conference. Approximately 40 Executive Directors from across North America are expected to attend.

Rabbi Judah Isaacs, director of the Orthodox Union’s Department of Community Engagement, and Yehuda Friedman said, “The Orthodox Union is a network that helps connect synagogues across North America and the conference provides Executive Directors with professional development tools to strengthen their community congregation. A synagogue with strong executive director knows that the Rabbi can attend to the spiritual, while the executive director assures that the synagogue functions smoothly and efficiently, with fundraising/finances, marketing, security, administration, and maintenance of the facility as major priorities. It is a most significant partnership, and a critical building block of a shul’s success in serving its community.”

The participating communities include:

  • California: Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego
  • Canada: Montreal, Toronto
  • District of Columbia: Washington
  • Florida: Boca Raton, Hollywood, Jacksonville, North Miami Beach
  • Georgia: Atlanta
  • Louisiana: Metairie
  • Massachusetts: Malden
  • Nebraska: Omaha
  • New Jersey: Teaneck
  • New York: Cedarhurst, Manhattan, Riverdale
  • Tennessee: Memphis
  • Texas: Houston
  • Virginia: Norfolk

Topics in the conference include:

  • Understanding the roles of Synagogue Lay Leadership and Professional Leadership: An Open Conversation With The Leadership of the Young Israel of Toco Hills and Congregation Beth Jacob
  • Behind the scenes of building a Mikdash Me-at: Personal perspectives of building a new facility
  • How a Montreal synagogue’s youth department engaged the Millennials
  • Human Resource policies to better protect your synagogue by Rabbi Lenny Bessler, OU Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Professionalism in the shul office: Applying for-profit business principles to your non-profit shul
  • Cyber security tools to protect your institution
  • Creating opportunities for giving
  • When disaster strikes! Crisis management during a natural disaster
  • Keeping a community together during a leadership transition
  • Communications: The critical element of security concentric circles
  • Top ten online tools for engaging
  • Presentation of OU Community Programs by Rebbetzin Judi Steinig, OU Associate Director of Community Services
  • Serving as the Kohanim of our shuls: In conversation with Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Beth Jacob and Rabbi Adam Starr of Young Israel of Toco Hills

Register for the conference online at www.ou.org/events/2015-national-synagogue-executive-directors-conference/ . For more information call the Orthodox Union Department of Community and Synagogue Services at 212-613-8300.