Lincoln Square Synagogue announced Thursday night that an anonymous donor has committed to donating $20 million, which will be used to complete construction of the synagogue’s 50,000-square-foot building on the Upper West Side. The announcement was made at a special membership meeting “to share good news.”
In bid for relevance, six area synagogues revamping finances, programming after pilot study.
The Huntington Jewish Center on Long Island’s North Shore is re-evaluating its early childhood program because of the school’s drain on synagogue finances — and because few of the families enrolled end up joining the synagogue.
Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan is working to more clearly articulate its mission and values — and, as the recession drags on, it has doubled for the second year in a row its subsidy for dues, religious and preschool tuition.
By sheer coincidence, people from very different times and circumstances in my life have asked me this past week how it is that I have managed to stay the rabbi of the same synagogue for thirty years. It is more than a little unusual, I do admit. Most rabbis- and clergy in general- tend to move around at least once or twice in their career. Every time I speak about my rabbinic career in Forest Hills, I hasten to add how fortunate both I and my family have been to be so rooted in one place- one very fine community.
Applaud Mobile creates iPhone apps specifically for Jewish organizations like synagogues, temples and Jewish schools. I recently reviewed the app it created for the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton, Massachusetts. Tamir and Marcia Borensztajn, active lay leaders in their community and parents at SSDS, came up with the Applaud Mobile app.
Quite often I get asked to consult synagogues on their Web presence. The first thing I do is take a look at their current Web site and try to determine in which year it was created. I can usually tell its production date within a few years based on several factors. I then explain what a Web site should do today. After I explain its function, I let them know that the look of the site matters less today than its functionality. Today's Web site needs to be an extension of the community the synagogue is trying to create (or in some cases, has already created).
I think I may have the opposite problem of Rabbi Marc Schneier, the prominent Orthodox spiritual leader who has been divorced four times — and is facing ethics charges from the Rabbinical Council of America.
So, I've decided to fork over the money and become a full-fledged synagogue member -- which means, among other things, my family and I have a place to go for the holidays. Will fill you in on the details in my next post.
For those of you who are still what Jewish insiders refer to in troubled voices as "The Unaffiliated," (usually in the same worried tone as they say "The Intermarried") there are lots of options if you want to go to High Holiday services next week.
Oy va voy, the High Holidays are a week away and I still don’t have plans! (And, while I haven't lost my mezuzah, I still have to put it up.)
Well, I have tentative plans, but no tickets or reservations, as of yet. That may change tomorrow night, after I go to an open house at the Reform temple I’ve been pretty sure, but not 100 percent sure, I want to join.