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The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community

Overview

A practical guide for envisioning—and transforming—your synagogue into a powerful new congregation of welcoming, learning and healing. "The new synagogue we envision is a spiritual center for all those who set foot inside it. It is a kehillah kedoshah, a sacred community, where relationships are paramount, where worship is engaging, where everyone is learning, where repair of the world is a moral imperative, where healing is offered, where personal and institutional transformation are embraced. The times are ripe...

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The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community

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Overview

A practical guide for envisioning—and transforming—your synagogue into a powerful new congregation of welcoming, learning and healing. "The new synagogue we envision is a spiritual center for all those who set foot inside it. It is a kehillah kedoshah, a sacred community, where relationships are paramount, where worship is engaging, where everyone is learning, where repair of the world is a moral imperative, where healing is offered, where personal and institutional transformation are embraced. The times are ripe for this spiritual call." —from the Introduction So often we want our congregations to be more—more compelling, more member-focused, more spiritual and yet more useful for our daily lives. Through reflection, examples, tips and exercises—and incorporating the fruits of Synagogue 2000 (now Synagogue 3000), a groundbreaking decade-long program investigating the challenges facing modern synagogues—this inspiring handbook both establishes a sound foundation for why a deep hospitality is crucial for the survival of today's spiritual communities, and dives into the practical hands-on how of turning your congregation into a place of invitation and openness that includes: Prayer that is engaging, uplifting and spiritually moving • Institutional deepening that is possible because of an openness to change • Study that engages adults and families, as well as children • Good deeds—the work of social justice—as a commitment of each and every member • An ambience of welcome that creates a culture of warmth and outreach • Healing that offers comfort and support at times of illness and loss • ... and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580232449
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 225
  • Sales rank: 687,393
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Ron Wolfson, visionary educator and inspirational speaker, is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a cofounder of Synagogue 3000. He is author of Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community; The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth; Be Like God: God's To-Do List for Kids; God's To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God's Work on Earth; Hanukkah, Passover and Shabbat, all Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs Art of Jewish Living family guides to spiritual celebrations; The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community; A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement and Comfort; and, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, What You Will See Inside a Synagogue (all Jewish Lights), a book for children ages 6 and up. He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Dr. Ron Wolfson is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Building Good Tents: Envisioning the Synagogue of the Future
  • God's To-Do List
  • The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven
  • Blessings and Kisses: The Power of the Jewish Family
  • A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort

Click here to contact the author.

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Table of Contents

Studying synagogues : the genesis of synagogue 2000 2
The transformation of American Judaism 7
A new kind of Aliyah 11
What are the major challenges facing synagogues today? 13
Why don't most Jews enjoy synagogue? 17
Rethinking spirituality 20
The spirituality of welcoming : the view from the summit 24
The synagogue 2000 theory of synagogue transformation 27
How to transform a synagogue : strategies for effecting change 27
What values should guide us as we seek to change? 36
Features of the synagogue 2000 process of synagogue transformation 39
Synagogue 2000 becomes synagogue 3000 43
Adopting the synagogue 2000 transformation process : you can do it! 44
Welcoming ambience 45
What does Jewish tradition teach us about hospitality? 45
Why is hospitality so important for synagogues? 50
The radical hospitality experts : Chabad and the megachurches 52
Emergent congregations : redefining hospitality 54
How synagogues can provide quality service : learning from the corporate world 54
Giving the synagogue a more welcoming face : the importance of greeting 62
How can the synagogue be a more welcoming space? 70
The art of dealing with difficult people 78
Welcoming worship 83
Researching welcoming worship in churches 84
Researching welcoming worship in synagogues 89
Using music to transform the synagogue experience 96
The spiritual message 110
Welcoming during worship 116
Other ways to enhance worship 123
Empowering the worship team 133
The transformation of synagogue worship 138
Welcoming membership 143
Rethinking membership 143
Recruiting new members 148
The culture of dues 158
Welcoming new members 170
Deepening the connectedness of all members to the sacred community 179
Structure, staffing, and funding for growth 194
Broadcasting the message 197
In gratitude 199
Action guide for congregational leaders 203
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