Will Your Synagogue Be a Club or a Cause?

The synagogue of the twentieth-century was designed to be a club, a place where membership itself was a form of participation. But at a time when all membership organizations face dwindling numbers, a thriving synagogue in the twenty-first century must be a cause, a place where people invest their time, energy and money because the purpose and mission of that synagogue compels them to engage.   Today, eJewishPhilanthropy published an article I wrote about what it means for a synagogue to be a cause, which you can read by clicking on this link.

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One Response to Will Your Synagogue Be a Club or a Cause?

  1. Rabbi Paula Mack Drill says:

    Thank you, Rabbi Josh Rabin, for this important and insightful essay. You are correct – many of us have used the metaphor of gym to synagogue (and rather despairingly, I may add). Your piece adds a nuanced and therefore more useful discussion of synagogues moving beyond membership based clubs. Your statement that the synagogue must serve a cause, but that the synagogue’s mere existence is not a cause resonated powerfully with me. Rabbi Craig Scheff and I plan to share your words with our synagogue president so that he can share this important piece with our leadership. Kol hakavod.

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