St. Louis temple among 16 chosen for ‘reimagining congregational education’ initiative

Congregation Temple Israel is one of 16 Reform congregations in North America selected to participate in the newly formed Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Community of Practice dedicated to Reimagining Congregational Education. This URJ Community of Practice (CoP) is a congregational networking group for Reform congregations that are seeking to discover new ways to innovate and experiment in congregational education.   

By participating in this initiative, Temple Israel will have the opportunity to meet with leaders from congregations with common interests to share ideas and experiment together with new strategies. Temple Israel will also have access to the URJ’s professional staff and expert consultants, some of the most renowned thought leaders in their fields. 

 “We look forward to discovering together the best ways to provide a strong Jewish foundation for our Temple Israel students and their families that best serves their needs and builds community,” ” said Dee A. Mogerman, board president of Temple Israel, in a news release.

 “Across North America, people hunger for real connections. They want – they need – to be part of meaningful communities,” added URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. “The URJ communities of practice will give Reform congregations opportunities to work together, take risks, explore new ideas, innovate and have unprecedented access to top experts.”   

The 16 congregations in the Reimagining Congregational Education Community of Practice will work together formally for 18 months to push the boundaries of existing congregational efforts. Participating congregations will receive guidance from peers and advisors to experiment in their own communities, create congregational innovations, and garner skills that will benefit all areas of congregational life.   

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This Community of Practice is a joint effort between the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE) and the URJ. There will be monthly virtual gatherings and e-learning opportunities. In addition, congregations will receive coaching, support, and consultation to support the planning and implementation of educational experiments. Results of these strategic experiments will be shared with congregations outside the Community of Practice and with the Reform Movement at large.