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Language AudlL, 2014

ANNOUNCING THE 2013-14
NEW YORK PILOT
Synagogues have long been the hub of local Jewish
communities, but what that looks like for a successful,
dynamic, sustainable synagogue today may be quite
diferent than what we’ve previously known. Today,
synagogue membership is down, and research on
millennials shows that this younger generation has
even less trust and commitment to institutions than
Gen Xers. We are at a moment where synagogues are
recognizing that continuing to swimupstreamperhaps
isn’t the best approach. While change is difcult and
the destination not totally known yet, we do know that
not changing may in fact be riskier than staying the
same. So if we’re ready to change, what does that
look like?
UJA Federation of New York with DarimOnline and
the synagogue feld are exploring the attributes of the
21st century synagogue, and the process needed to
realign our congregations to thrive in today’s connected
landscape. Our vision of a “Connected Congregation”
is one that deeply understands the meaning of
community, and works explicitly to build a strong,
meaningful and engaged Jewish community. Connected
Congregations prioritize relationships and shared
values as the foundation of a successful synagogue, and
align all aspects of institutional management in service
of this community. Tose who are part of connected
congregations feel a sense of shared ownership and
responsibility for each other and the collective, and
are empowered to contribute their ideas, energy and
resources. While this vision may sound familiar,
we have found that many aspects of synagogue life—
fromdues models and governance, to programdesign
and measurement, to communications design and
stafng models – in fact retard community building
and reinforce the ‘transactional Judaism’ that we
know isn’t, for the most part, working.
Over the coming year, UJA Federation of New York
with DarimOnline will work intensively with six
congregations in New York, Westchester, and Long
Island to learn about the theory and practice behind
working as a networked organization, and support
these congregations as they experiment with diferent
aspects of becoming a Connected Congregation. Each
congregational teamwill focus on a specifc project to
help align their work and culture, supported by expert
coaches, UJA Federation of New York, DarimOnline,
and their peers. Te cohort will learn, wrestle and ex-
periment together, and then document and share
our lessons learned.
Tese courageous congregations will pioneering new
ideas that will advance their communities, and begin a
trajectory of growth for years to come. We are currently
working to formthis cohort, and invite you to apply to
be one of the six in this diverse, inaugural cohort. Ideal
congregations will be able to dedicate both staf and lay
leadership time to the experience, ready to take risks,
and willing to share their process with the wider feld.
For more information, and to apply to the be part of
the cohort, visit http://darimonline.org/connectcongsny
or call Lisa Colton at 434.260.0177
Follow the cohort, our learning and join the discussions
at #connectcongs on Twitter.
An initiative of UJA-Federation. With Darim Online


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!"#$ &'( )*&+ ,#$ -&,.

As we all know, lL's noL [usL whaL you say, lL ls how you say lL. 1he purpose of Lhls Language
AudlL ls Lo use Lhe ConnecLed CongregaLlons lens you've been developlng Lo Lake a fresh look aL
how you are communlcaLlng wlLh your congregaLlon. 1he exerclse ls lnLended Lo be a Llme for
reflecLlon and sharpenlng of your lens, Lhough some congregaLlons may be lnsplred Lo Lake
acLlon and make changes Lo Lhelr webslLe or prlnLed maLerlals. use Lhls sheeL as a guldellne for
conducLlng your Language AudlL. We recommend LhaL you do Lhls as a Leam, and Lhen
hlghllghL any blg Lake-aways or remalnlng quesLlons wlLh your coach lf you feel Lhey can be
helpful.

A synagogue communlcaLes Lhrough many channels - dlrecLly Lhrough bulleLlns, brochures,
leLLers, webslLes and soclal medla, as well as more subLly Lhrough slgnage, membershlp packeLs
and forms, speclal dues arrangemenL forms, and school enrollmenL forms. SomeLlmes, Lhese
communlcaLlons make flrsL lmpresslons, and someLlmes Lhey relnforce percepLlons or
assumpLlons LhaL may be counLer Lo whaL you're Lrylng Lo bulld.

#-*)/$0 Choose one communlcaLlon 'arLlfacL' LhaL ls relevanL Lo your congregaLlon's focus for
Lhls year. lL could be a documenL (bulleLln, brochure, recenL leLLer Lo Lhe congregaLlon),
slgnage (such as whaL you posL Lo advlse aLLendees of behavloral norms or cusLoms aL your
servlces), or an admlnlsLraLlve form (membershlp appllcaLlon, speclal dues requesL form).

use Lhe followlng quesLlons as dlscusslon prompLs Lo galn lnslghL and helghLen awareness
abouL Lhe overL and coverL messages LhaL may be expressed or lnferred, and Lo explore whaL
changes you mlghL conslder as parL of your [ourney as a ConnecLed CongregaLlon.

1. AnAL?ZL: WhaL ls Lhe message you wanL Lo convey?
a. WhaL values, lnformaLlon, and culLure ls lL LhaL you really wanL Lo express?
b. WhaL words or phrases feel counLer producLlve Lo Lhose goals?
c. WhaL words or phrases seem Lo relnforce or supporL Lhose goals?

2. LMÞA1PlZL: Who are your LargeL audlence(s)? 8LMLM8L8 1C ulllL8Ln1lA1L!
a. Why are Lhey Lhere?
b. WhaL ls lmporLanL Lo Lhem?
c. WhaL do you know abouL Lhelr preconcepLlons, assumpLlons or expecLaLlons?
d. Pow do you wanL Lhem Lo feel afLer encounLerlng Lhls communlcaLlon?
Language AudlL, 2014
ANNOUNCING THE 2013-14
NEW YORK PILOT
Synagogues have long been the hub of local Jewish
communities, but what that looks like for a successful,
dynamic, sustainable synagogue today may be quite
diferent than what we’ve previously known. Today,
synagogue membership is down, and research on
millennials shows that this younger generation has
even less trust and commitment to institutions than
Gen Xers. We are at a moment where synagogues are
recognizing that continuing to swimupstreamperhaps
isn’t the best approach. While change is difcult and
the destination not totally known yet, we do know that
not changing may in fact be riskier than staying the
same. So if we’re ready to change, what does that
look like?
UJA Federation of New York with DarimOnline and
the synagogue feld are exploring the attributes of the
21st century synagogue, and the process needed to
realign our congregations to thrive in today’s connected
landscape. Our vision of a “Connected Congregation”
is one that deeply understands the meaning of
community, and works explicitly to build a strong,
meaningful and engaged Jewish community. Connected
Congregations prioritize relationships and shared
values as the foundation of a successful synagogue, and
align all aspects of institutional management in service
of this community. Tose who are part of connected
congregations feel a sense of shared ownership and
responsibility for each other and the collective, and
are empowered to contribute their ideas, energy and
resources. While this vision may sound familiar,
we have found that many aspects of synagogue life—
fromdues models and governance, to programdesign
and measurement, to communications design and
stafng models – in fact retard community building
and reinforce the ‘transactional Judaism’ that we
know isn’t, for the most part, working.
Over the coming year, UJA Federation of New York
with DarimOnline will work intensively with six
congregations in New York, Westchester, and Long
Island to learn about the theory and practice behind
working as a networked organization, and support
these congregations as they experiment with diferent
aspects of becoming a Connected Congregation. Each
congregational teamwill focus on a specifc project to
help align their work and culture, supported by expert
coaches, UJA Federation of New York, DarimOnline,
and their peers. Te cohort will learn, wrestle and ex-
periment together, and then document and share
our lessons learned.
Tese courageous congregations will pioneering new
ideas that will advance their communities, and begin a
trajectory of growth for years to come. We are currently
working to formthis cohort, and invite you to apply to
be one of the six in this diverse, inaugural cohort. Ideal
congregations will be able to dedicate both staf and lay
leadership time to the experience, ready to take risks,
and willing to share their process with the wider feld.
For more information, and to apply to the be part of
the cohort, visit http://darimonline.org/connectcongsny
or call Lisa Colton at 434.260.0177
Follow the cohort, our learning and join the discussions
at #connectcongs on Twitter.
An initiative of UJA-Federation. With Darim Online
e. Pow do you wanL Lhls communlcaLlon Lo lmpacL how Lhey see Lhemselves as
parL of Lhe communlLy?

3. 8CLL ÞLA?: Þlay Lhe parL of varlous congreganLs, and reacL Lo Lhe language ln your
communlcaLlon arLlfacL. WhaL ls welcomlng? WhaL ls off-puLLlng? WhaL ls
lncomprehenslble? 8e-phrase Lhe communlcaLlon (from Lhe perspecLlve of Lhe role
Laker) Lo express whaL Lhey Lake away (cognlLlvely and affecLlvely).

4. 88AlnS1C8M: WhaL are some words/phrases LhaL can convey your message ln ways
LhaL sLrengLhen relaLlonshlps? WhaL are some words and phrases LhaL geL ln Lhe way,
and should be avolded?

3. LxÞLC8L: WhaL changes mlghL you conslder as parL of your [ourney as a ConnecLed
CongregaLlon? WhaL oLher communlcaLlons are a hlgh prlorlLy Lo revlslL? WhaL
language changes or new cusLoms mlghL you conslder LhroughouL Lhe synagogue's
communlcaLlons? WhaL are your nexL sLeps (lf any)?


WhaL Lhemes emerged from your dlscusslons? Any new commlLLmenLs you've made Lo
fuLure communlcaLlons? Pow dld lL feel Lo Lake a magnlfylng glass Lo one arLlfacL? Was lL
useful? Share your reflecLlons and/or ouLcomes ln our lacebook Croup,
hLLps://www.facebook.com/groups/connecLedcongregaLlons/