Category Archives: Uncategorized

Don’t Throw Away People

Many Jewish organizations celebrate Shavuot under the shadow of budget shortfalls, staffing cuts, and anxiety about the future.   However, the bikkurim ritual on Shavuot challenges us to show constant appreciation for the unglamorous, daily work required to maintain a … Continue reading

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Synagogues Are Not Helpless

Martin Seligman’s work on optimism and positive psychology plays a tremendous role in my philosophy as a rabbi, educator, and leadership trainer.   Today, eJewishPhilanthropy published an article I wrote on how Seligman’s concepts of pessimism and “learned helplessness” affect … Continue reading

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Listen to the Wicked Child

Commentators love to criticize the question of the Wicked Child.   However, the Wicked Child’s question in the Haggadah teaches us a powerful lesson about the impact of asking difficult questions, and the importance of leaders having the courage to … Continue reading

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It’s Who You Know! The Podcast

I love listening to podcasts, and work my way through episodes of the Bill Simmons Podcast, the Weeds, Planet Money and countless others while I’m in the car, on the subway, or at the gym.    Last month, I was … Continue reading

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Who Saves the Synagogue?

God’s name does not appear in Megillat Esther, and this omission offers a powerful lesson about the necessity of taking ownership over whether or not we will achieve God’s mission for the Jewish people.   On Sunday, The Times of Israel published … Continue reading

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Why Synagogues Need a Checklist Manifesto

I am not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, but that does not stop me from loving everything that Dr. Atul Gawande writes about medicine.   In particular, I love Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto, which captures … Continue reading

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Synagogues Are More Than Spreadsheets

Sacred institutions do sacred work, yet oftentimes the hustle and bustle of leading a synagogue or Jewish organization keeps us from remembering that our institutions are far more than the sum of all the things that we need to manage.  Yesterday, The … Continue reading

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The Best of the Year 2016: eJewishPhilanthropy

Today, I was honored to find out that my article “Will Your Synagogue Be a Club or a Cause?” was identified as one of the top ten articles on eJewishPhilanthropy for 2016.   If you are interested in rereading this piece, click … Continue reading

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Fools for Judaism

Just as we are commanded to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah by placing the Hanukkah lights in our windows, Jewish institutions must gain greater comfort at trumpeting their visions in a world where fewer and fewer Jews speak Judaism as … Continue reading

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Can Synagogues Develop a Playbook to Survive Disruption?

Conversations about the future of synagogues tend to focus on content, while largely relegating questions of structure to second-tier status.   I propose that we pause and consider the possibility that synagogues are facing disruptive technologies that will affect their future in … Continue reading

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