Number of pages: 240
How to transform the model of twentieth-century Jewish institutions into twenty-first-century relational communities offering meaning and purpose, belonging and blessing. “What really matters is that we care about the people we seek to engage. When we genuinely care about people, we will not only welcome them; we will listen to their stories, we will share ours, and we will join together to build a Jewish community that enriches our lives.” —from the Introduction Membership in Jewish organizations is down. Day school enrollment has peaked. Federation campaigns are flat. The fastest growing and second largest category of Jews is “Just Jewish.” Young Jewish adults are unengaged and aging baby boomers are disengaging. Yet, in the era of Facebook, people crave face-to-face community. “It’s all about relationships.” With this simple, but profound idea, noted educator and community revitalization pioneer Dr. Ron Wolfson presents practical strategies and case studies to transform the old model of Jewish institutions into relational communities. He sets out twelve principles of relational engagement to guide Jewish lay leaders, professionals and community members in transforming institutions into inspiring communities whose value-proposition is to engage people and connect them to Judaism and community in meaningful and lasting ways.
“Catalogs endless ways to revitalize Jewish life through deep, on-going human connections. Effective twenty-first-century lay and professional leaders will need this road map for the journey ahead.” —Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president, Union for Reform Judaism
“Lively ... shows us how to transform our institutions by focusing on how we connect to one another. A must read for anyone who cares about the future of American Jewish life.” —Alisa Rubin Kurshan, senior vice president, UJA–Federation of New York
“Judaism is about relationship—with others, with God, with the tradition itself. There is no more sure-footed guide to the relationships in our lives than Ron Wolfson, teacher extraordinaire. Here is his latest gift to the seeking soul.”