We are excited to announce that Emanuel Congregation is one of six Reform congregations in the Chicago area selected to participate in a new Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) project. Innovating Together is a congregational networking group for Reform congregations that are seeking to build meaningful relationships between their educators and lay leaders.
By participating in this initiative, our education team will meet with education leaders from other congregations to learn, share ideas, and workshop new strategies. We will also have access to the URJ’s professional staff and expert consultants, some of the most renowned thought leaders in their fields.
Through this project, we are excited to be experimenting with two key URJ beliefs; first, that sacred partnership, the holy relationship between lay and professional leaders, is a key ingredient of successful congregational life. And second, that strong education models are crucial for congregations who strive towards deeper relationships, meaning, and impact.
Our cohort will work together formally for seven months to push the boundaries of existing relationships and projects. We will each receive guidance from peers and advisors to build connections in each of our communities, create joint projects, and garner skills that will benefit all areas of congregational life.
As participants in this pilot project, our feedback and impressions will help shape future iterations of the program. Our experiences and outcomes may also be shared with the wider Reform movement.