Synagogue Transformation: part of the solution or problem?

Guest Synablog writer and regular contributor and blogger for The New York Jewish Week, Rabbi Gerry C. Skolnik gives an interesting take on the synagogue transformation movement. Skolnik contends that organizations like S3K and STAR might be more part of the problem than the solution.

S3K team members Ron Wolfson, Larry Hoffman and Steven Cohen respond to Skolnik's provocative position. Weigh in with your opinion.

Gemilut Chasadim: A Jewish Journey Group on the Path of Social Justice

This five-session Jewish Journey Group is the first stage of an encounter
with Jewish values and teachings that can lead to acts of social justice.
Participants will explore the roots of social action in Jewish texts and then
discuss the practical application of these historic Jewish teachings. Members
of the group will include those who have participated in such activities but
are unfamiliar with the Jewish roots and texts that support them, as well as
those without such prior involvement. The learning and the activities are

The Riverway Project: Engaging Adults in their 20s and 30s in the Process of Transforming the Synagogue

Rabbi Jeremy Morrison writes about The Riverway Project of Temple Israel, Boston. To date, one of the most successful project of engaging 20 and 30 something Jews. 

Ron's Cool Ideas

As I visit different synagogues, I pick up little ideas, things that people do, that resonate. As I come across the really 'cool' ones, I'm going to report them in this ongoing column of "best practices." Enjoy!

Ron Wolfson





Removing the stumbling blocks: A local synagogue takes action to increase awareness and improve access for families with special

This year, for the first time, February is National Jewish Disability Awareness Month. The idea was first proposed by the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, and it has been picked up by Jewish organizations and agencies across the religious spectrum, including the Union for Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and United Jewish Communities. To mark the month, NJJN will publish a series of articles on special-needs families and programs. Next week: Special education in synagogue religious schools.

Turning 40: Beyond Boomers

If you have already turned 40, you know it is no ordinary birthday; if you are not yet 40, pray God you will get there, but, perhaps, with appropriate trepidation.

Join the conversation on Synablog

Uncoupled: How our Singles are Reshaping Jewish Engagement

At first glance, most young adult, non-Orthodox Jews in America seem rather unengaged in Jewish life. This seems especially true of single Jews between the ages of 25 and 39. Few of them join synagogues or JCCs, even fewer contribute to Jewish federation campaigns, and with the exception of attending Passover Seders or High Holiday services, not many young adults outside of Orthodoxy practice Jewish rituals.

Seeking a Third Way to Respond to the Challenge of Intermarriage

Every generation of Jews confronts its distinctive challenges and in doing so leaves its particular contribution to Jewish life and history. The previous generation struggled for Jewish rights and interests in the public arena. It achieved widespread support for Israel, freedom for Soviet Jewry, the public memorialization of the Holocaust, and a virtual end to American anti-Semitism, winning astounding success in all four domains.

With Yoga, Comedy and Parties, Synagogues Entice Newcomers

A hipster synagogue grows in SoHo, drawing large crowds with its "Torah cocktail parties" in fancy loft apartments and user-friendly prayer services designed especially for the uninitiated.