Author Archives: joshuarabin

Why Should Your Synagogue Exist?

Hanukkah presents an opportunity to use the simple act of lighting the Hanukkiyah for eight nights as an opportunity to give attention to the power of ordinary, daily work at sustaining our congregations.    Miracles inspire us and lead to transformation, and they … Continue reading

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A Career Highlight: Getting Quoted By Chabad

In 2016, I published an article in eJewishPhilanthropy about disruptive innovation, specifically citing Chabad as a paradigm of a disruptive technology affecting the business model of traditional congregations.    Last month, this article was quoted by Chabad Lubavitch in an … Continue reading

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I Am Wrong (And By The Way, So Are You)

The Jewish Community is going through massive change in the way we do prayer, serve interfaith families, talk about Israel, and too many issues to count. Yet by definition successful change means that something we or our institutions did in … Continue reading

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Shabbat, Status Anxiety, and Social Media

The Talmud teaches that Shabbat provides a person with an “extra soul” for the twenty-hour period on Friday night until Shabbat ends on Saturday evening. As such, Shabbat is an opportunity to care about ourselves and spend time with the people who … Continue reading

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Choose People Over Things

On Tisha B’Av, it is important to clarify what values must be at the center of Jewish Community.  And in Jewish tradition, the choice is always clear: we choose people over things.  Today, The Times of Israel published a post I wrote in preparation for Tisha … Continue reading

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The Blessing of Epic Failure

At the end of the synagogue programming year, many leaders find themselves depressed at missed opportunities and financial targets, and an anxiety as to whether or not the coming year will bring more of the same. But in that moment, … Continue reading

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Facts Are Not Enough

This Shavuot, we need to recommit ourselves to telling our story, to constructing a worldview of meaning and transcendence that can redefine what synagogues mean in the twenty-first century.  Yes, if our synagogues and institutions were lost to the world, … Continue reading

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Enslaved to Limitations

Today, as the Jewish Community struggles under the weight of financial, political, demographic and institutional constraints, there may be nothing more important than to take seriously the idea that we choose whether or not our institutions will become enslaved by … Continue reading

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Interfaith Families and Conservative Synagogues

Today, the words “Conservative Judaism” and “interfaith marriage” are seldom seen in-print without a story about some controversy.   As a result, not enough time is spent in reflective conversation about the most important current trend affecting synagogues.   This morning, eJewishPhilanthropy … Continue reading

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God Will Not Solve Our Problems (And That’s A Good Thing)

In the Purim story, Esther and Mordecai had every reason to give up in face of Haman’s cruelty when it seemed as though no God would save them.  Yet in spite of no divine intervention of the kind experienced by Noah, Abraham … Continue reading

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