Last month, the Orthodox Union’s Department of Synagogue Services launched a comprehensive survey for presidents of OU member synagogues throughout North America, with the goal of obtaining information about which programs synagogue presidents desire; areas where help or advice is needed; and areas of expertise, so that fellow presidents might mentor each other and educate them on their particular skills.
The survey is part of “Presidential Mentoring 360,” one of the first initiatives taken as part of the OU Synagogue Service’s bold new approach to reach out to Jewish communities in the United States and Canada. Once the survey’s results are analyzed, the OU will be able to tailor a program for synagogue presidents and help them run their shuls to the best of their abilities. The project references “360” due to the cyclical nature of this initiative: one synagogue president will offer his expertise in a certain area to the next president while simultaneously receiving expert advice from yet another president.
Michael Rosner, Director of the OU Job Board and Program Specialist for Synagogue Services, stated, “The OU has committed itself to helping synagogues, and in turn, the greater Jewish communities, grow and develop into vibrant and prosperous locations and places to live. We know that the knowledge of synagogue presidents in some areas can be utilized by other synagogue presidents throughout the country, and can mean a real difference in a community’s success.”
One the results are analyzed, there will be regular teleconferences or webcasts for synagogue presidents, moderated by Mr. Rosner. The webcasts will offer an open forum and opportunity for networking among presidents, as well as a constant exchange of ideas.
For those presidents of OU synagogues who have not yet taken part in the survey, the questions are available at the following link: http://www.surveymoneky.com/s/MCVZ5DF. The survey will be closed in the coming weeks, so that the regular meetings between the presidents can begin in May.
Mr. Rosner also hopes to organize an annual retreat for synagogue presidents, so that they may learn of the best ways to maximize their community’s potential and run their synagogues to the best of their abilities.
For more information about “Presidential Mentoring 360,” contact 212-613-8129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.