LBTV (Leo Baeck TV)

Given the power of online videos, we inaugurated LBTV Action News as a vehicle for telling the school’s story. In 60 to 90 second installments, students did standup spot “news reports,” on selected events and subjects. It was effective in terms of growing our social media reach. Parents are our main audience on Facebook – which is our main social medium — and they love seeing children doing the presenting as well as being the subjects of a video. It lent an additional appeal, as opposed to watching the expected administrator or teacher talking head tell about the school. And they were eager to share the Facebook postings, as well. Some of our most shared and far-reaching videos on Facebook were LBTV Action News items.

It is a win-win: not only does this provide a framework for packaging video items, but it’s a worthwhile learning experience for the students, who gain amateur TV reporter experience. One Grade 8 student even mentioned in her reflection at graduation ceremony that being an LBTV Action News reporter was one of the highlights of her year.

My background as a radio news reporter came in handy in developing a few basic guidelines for the students: how to prepare an intro, segue to an interviewee and how and what to ask, and summing up in an extro/sign off. They learned the proper way to stand, hold a mic, and to think in terms of their audience of Internet viewers watching a small frame video screen.

The Middle School teachers selected a news team; I called upon those students in turn when a newsworthy event came up. It was interesting to observe the qualitative growth of each reporter over time.

Some of the highlighted news reports included coverage of Toronto’s Jewish day school Debate Tournament, hosted at our school; coverage of the Jewish day school Cross Country Meet; Talent Shows; and innovative programs that engaged parent and grandparent participation in the curriculum.

Videos of course go far in opening the walls of the school for parents to witness the “magic” of what goes on in school between drop off and pick up. But adding this TV news “packaging” allows for student involvement and a ready-made format.

David Bale is the Director of Communications at The Leo Baeck Day School.

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation.  Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here with the tag #jdsacademy

Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at

Keep Momentum Over the Summer

The Jewish calendar is great for pacing our lives, for embracing the seasons, and appreciating things in their own time.  Summer, however, sometimes feels like it can derail the communications momentum we've worked so hard to build over the year.  Especially in educational organizations where classes don't meet over the summer (and where staff may be only working part time, or not at all), it's important to pay special attention to your summer social media plans.  Thus from our staff, and the wisdom of the crowd!

CONSISTENCY  Maintaining consistency is important both to keep up your ranking so your content will appear in newsfeeds, but it's also important to keep people in the habit of being engaged.  You've worked to get people engaging with your posts — keep it up.  It's also a great way to introduce and integrate new families into your community.   Make a point of posting at least once or twice a week.  Use the scheduling function in Facebook or a third party tool like HootSuite to schedule posts if you need plan ahead.

CONTENT  If you've used the POST planning process to identify the "sweet spot" of content that's both mission centric and of practical value to your audiences, you know how important it is to find the right content.  What do your audiences need over the summer?   Tips for events and opportunities in your local community?  How about ideas of fun summertime care packages to send to camp?  Or links to back to school preparedness? Tova Otis suggested in the JDS Social Media Academy Facebook Group that she posts links to school supply sales in their community.  Even links to fun activities like this list of creative things to do for under $10 or how to make quick kosher dill pickles with your cucumber harvest, other fun things you can find on Pinterest. (Got links to share?  Add them in the comments)

CONTRIBUTIONS  How can you get people participating in your Page even if they are not walking through your door?  How about a photo contest to have people submit a picture of their adventures over the summer, or wearing their school t-shirt in exciting places?  Invite your audience to send a postcard — a real one which you can scan and post online, or a virtual one by posting on your Page.  Do a virtual scavenger hunt.  Promote these invitations both on your page, and through email and other vehicles with links to help them take immediate action.

CONVERSATION  Keep the conversation going.  What questions can you ask that inspire people to speak up ("Where are kids going to camp this summer? What's your favorite ice cream flavor?) or chime in?  Ellen Dietrick asked her community to vote on the color t-shirt for the coming year and got dozens of responses – some serious, some silly!  Remember to be LISTENING as much as TALKING. If you're not in the office make sure you're getting notifications (by email, or on your phone or tablet) so you can monitor and facilitate conversation as people chime in!

How will you keep momentum during the summer?  What kinds of content will you post?  How do you structure your time over the summer to keep momentum?  Share in the comments.  Happy summer!



Calling All DoGooders!

Announcing the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards!

Presented by See3 Communications, YouTube, the Nonprofit Technology Network, The National Youth Media Network and National Alliance for Media and Culture

See3 Communications (which merged with Darim Online in 2012) is once again teaming up with the amazing partners listed above to host the 8th Annual DoGooder Video Awards. This is a HUGE opportunity for Jewish organizations to showcase fantastic videos created in 2013, and to get the word out about the good you're doing. Check out the video and the press release below for more information, and let us know if you submit – we'd love to cheer you on!

See3 Communications, the leader in online video for nonprofits, and YouTube, the world’s largest online video community along with the Nonprofit Technology Network, announced today the launch of the 2014 DoGooder Video Awards. The DoGooder Awards recognize the creative and effective use of video in promoting social good. Cisco, a global leader in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is generously contributing a cash prize to one contest winner. Cisco combines human and technology networks to multiply its impact on people, communities, and the planet. The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture in partnership with the National Youth Media Network & with support from The National Alliance for Media Literacy Education and others, will also provide additional prizes to the winner of the new Youth Media category.

In addition to prizes provided by Cisco and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, contest winners will receive free registration to the Nonprofit Technology Conference, the signature event hosted by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). Finally, the winners will see their videos (and their message) featured on the hugely popular YouTube Spotlight Channel.

Now in its 8th year, the DoGooder Awards program is dedicated to giving those cause advocates that use video a place for their work to shine. This year, the program is excited to open up participation to include younger do-gooders ages 12 to 21 who best communicated their thoughts on pressing social issues in a way that inspired others.

"We are really excited to launch another year of the DoGooder Awards," said Michael Hoffman, CEO of See3. "When we started the awards 8 years ago, no one knew why they needed to focus on video. Now, the majority of all bandwidth is video and video messaging has become more important than ever for nonprofit organizations around the world. This year, we are pleased to present the Most Inspiring Youth Media Award, where we can showcase the up-and-coming video makers dedicated to social change. Once again we have the investment of YouTube, NTEN and Cisco to make this all possible and we are grateful for their dedication to the nonprofit sector."

Beginning February 1st, video submissions will be accepted via the contest website until February 15th, in the following categories:

  • The ImpactX Award: honoring those videos that have demonstrated impact for their causes.
  • The Best Nonprofit Video Award: honoring nonprofit organizations using video to make change.
  • The Funny for Good Award: Recognizing effective use of comedy to make people laugh and take action.
  • The Most Inspiring Youth Media Award: For youth who best communicated their thoughts on pressing social issues in a way that inspired others.

Members of the YouTube community will have the opportunity to vote for the best among the finalists from February 28th through March 10th.

The winning videos in each category will be featured on YouTube’s coveted Spotlight Channel, receive a free registration to next year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference and will be recognized at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2014. The winners in the ImpactX category will receive a cash prize from Cisco to help them harness the power of human and technology networks to multiply their impact on the people and communities they serve. Additional prizes will be awarded to each winner as well.

Celebrating its eighth year, the DoGooder Video Awards has awarded thousands of dollars in grants and prizes to support the work of organizations doing good. Last year, over 800 entries were submitted from more than 300 nonprofit organizations, with winning videos from Rainforest Alliance, Pathfinder International and more.

Organizations and individuals can enter the contest by going to

Monday Web Favorites: 2013 Imagery and Inspiration Edition

As we come closer to the end of 2013, sites are releasing their obligatory "best of" lists. Here are a few of our favorites, for your inspiration…

First off, Tumblr's Year in Review is well worth checking out. Tumblr is a hip, funky, user-friendly and lightweight blogging platform that excels at imagery and attitude. Here's a bit about the "best of" list they're producing

The retrospective starts Tuesday at with an exploration of 20 categories ranging from the most popular musical groups to the most interesting architecture of 2013. Boasting a plethora of images, the review will continue through December with daily posts that will culminate on New Year's Eve with the best fireworks displays featured on Tumblr during the year.

Our take-aways for the Jewish communal set?

  • Scan the most-reblogged posts and people. What can you learn? What do these posts have in common? What kinds of images, what types of language, etc., really work?
  • Are you using Tumblr? It's a great place to connect with teens. Tumblr is also flexible enough to be used to produce a full website, or can easily pop up for the sake of a single event, conference, or trip.
  • Are there ways for you to capitalize on what Tumblr thinks is hip? What kind of connections can you make between "trending topics" and your work to help get the word out about your organization or cause?

And up next: we normally wouldn't re-post something from Buzzfeed, the site we all waste time on and love to hate/hate to love, but this one seemed especially apropos: the 21 Most Creative Instagram Accounts of 2013. Honestly, this post is not really about the photo-sharing service Instagram, or even about photos, but about the role of surprise and delight. Take a look at these accounts, what do they have in common? To us, they both surprise and delight their viewers. How can our social spaces do the same for our communities?


…and we'll close with some good ol' nonprofit video. Enjoy the winners of the 2013 DoGooder Awards!

What have been your web favorites lately? Share in the comments, or send them to Miriam directly, and they could be featured here next time!

Monday Web Favorites: Bob Dylan, Blended Learning, and Karaoke Havdalah

It’s video, video, video on this week’s edition of web favorites! Watch on…

  • Bob Dylan fans and media buffs, rejoice! The first official video for Dylan's classic song “Like a Rolling Stone” was just released, and Wired Magazine calls it “an interactive masterpiece.” The video allows viewers to flip through channels on a “television,” only every program features characters (many of whom you will recognize) lip-synching the words to the song. This format is strangely engaging, with its simultaneous retro and tech-forward feel. Take a break and flip channels. (Our take-away for Jewish communal professionals? It validates the many ways to engage with and experience "tradition" – no right or wrong, better or worse. For lack of a better analogy, this is a great embodiment of "peoplehood". There's something in here about the diversity and user control of the exploration…it's inviting. There's more to explore and learn here; as this technology develops, the cultural implications may get richer.)
  • On a different note, Jewish educator and technologist Russel Neiss recently created this provocative video combining a recent presentation on blended learning and B. F. Skinner’s 1954 “learning machine.” It’s worth watching with a colleague, not only for the content and the discussion it may spur, but as a great example of the power and implications of mashup culture: 

  • And finally, the latest work from the talented folks over at G-dcast, a Havdalah Karaoke video made in collaboration with Moishe House, is a visually and musically lovely way to close out Shabbat and welcome the new week. It's the first in a three-part series of similar videos. Not only might these videos be a useful tool for your community, but they're a great example of both an unlikely and beautiful collaboration, and how technology might help us be more welcoming in our communities for folks of all comfort levels with prayer and ritual. Enjoy, and have a great week!

Have web favorites you're dying to share? Let us know in the comments, or send them to Miriam via email and they may just show up here next week!

The Social Media Sukkah

After the intensity of the High Holy Days, Sukkot – to me, at least – is a welcome shift. I’ve always felt that Sukkot was a bizarre and wonderful holiday that really captures the essence of autumn; like beginning the day at night, there’s something kind of magical about beginning the year when the world seems to be going to sleep. It’s a beautiful stretch of days that are hard to let go of.

Luckily for us, social media help us bring the feeling of Sukkot into our lives and work year-round. Social media, in many ways, are like a sukkah!


  • Both are open by design. A sukkah forces you to let go of just one wall, to bring down traditional barriers. It forces you to experience the elements with a roof that both allows the stars to shine through and the rain to fall into your kiddush cup. So too with social media. Without a certain level of openness, of transparency, efforts in social media tend to fall flat or feel inauthentic. That openness exposes you to the occasional cold wind or nasty comment, but the value it brings in sunshine and deepened relationships is worth the risk.

    • How are you opening yourself up through social media?

  • Both are meant to be built together. Sukkot both recalls the years the Israelites wandered through the wilderness, dwelling in impermanent structures, and the harvest-time. Both of these events require an entire community – we can’t get through the desert alone, we’re dependent on one another for sustenance. And there’s nothing like a good sukkah-raising to bring a community together! Likewise, social media is exactly that: social. It’s about the people and the connections among them. A sukkah, a social network…both are scaffolding for bringing people together to make meaning.  

    • Who helps you build your sukkah, and who is generous and supporting to you through social media?

  • Both are all about hospitality. On Sukkot, we welcome everyone, including the mystical ushpizin, holy guests like Abraham and Sarah who join us from across time and space. We can’t necessarily see these visitors, but we connect with them and we feel their presence. That is often the case online. While we may not always see our guests, but we sense them, we welcome them, and we help them feel at home.  

    • How do you welcome people into your sukkah, and into your social media spaces?

  • They’re both supposed to be fun! I once heard an adorable 3 year-old give the following d’var Torah, “On Sukkot…you should be happy…and dance.” Not only was he cute, he was right! V’samachta b’chagecha, the Torah teaches – be joyous in your holiday. Have fun with it. Why not do the same in social media? Facebook and Twitter shouldn’t be an onerous burden. They are an opportunity to share, to connect, to bring a little something special into the world. Make it yours, and make it fun!  


The holidays are a time to think about our practice and start doing better. This year I challenge each of us to make our social media spaces more like a sukkah – open, collaborative, welcoming, and joyful. Shanah tovah, a happy and successful new year to us all!





Determining Your Communal DNA

What is a synagogue? A congregation? A community?

We are more than a nonprofit organization, or a local center, or a collection of people who share certain practices or get together for holidays. It feels significant to me that words like “congregation” and “community” are grammatically singular but inherently refer to a multiplicity. The duality of meaning here is so critical for how we lead, congregate, and self-identify.

A rhizome is an organism that shares DNA across what appears to be a big, diverse group of organisms. Bamboo is a great example of this: What appears to be a forest of bamboo is actually one organism, with a shared root system. The organism is resilient, strong, and sustainable because even if the majority of it was destroyed, the DNA lives on.

Our congregations should function in a similar way. Together, we establish the culture of a community (let’s call it the communal DNA) which infuses everything we do, from the design of the fliers, to the tone of the announcements made from the bimah, to the thoughtfulness with which we treat each other.

Oftentimes, we talk the talk but fail to walk the walk. We repeat (in announcements, on our websites, etc.) that we are “warm and welcoming,” but how does that really get coded in our DNA? How does this value express itself in every attribute of our community, inside the building and outside, from staff and members, through programs and relationships? Is our being welcoming our saying, “We’re glad you walked in the door”? Or is it actually saying, “We’d like to help you find your place here, so I want to know what’s important to you. And can I introduce you to some people who share your interests?”

Today we are living in a networked, connected world, where relationships trump programs, where participation trumps attendance, and where authenticity and trustworthiness trump everything. Our challenge, then, is not only to clarify our communal DNA but to have it expressed throughout every pore of our community, at all times.

One of the most effective ways that we can infuse our communities with this DNA is through effective communications. What does your website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, or Pinterest board say about your community, your values, and your DNA? Do the people who manage these channels – as well as the people who manage your print newsletter, weekly emails, fliers, and in-person announcements – all operate from the same core DNA of the community? How about greeters and ushers and the person who answers the phone?

In the Social Media Policy Workbook published this fall (free download of the PDF is available here), we offer 10 worksheets to help you think through the various opportunities (and challenges) of effectively using communications to build, support and manage your communal DNA. The very first worksheet is about values because everything grows from there – the roots, the stalks, and the leaves.

What are the essential communal values at your synagogue? How are they expressed by every member of your community? Where could you be doing a better job?


This post is part of a blog series on Connected Congregations being curated by Darim Online in partnership with UJA Federation of New York.  Through this series, we are exploring what it means for synagogues to function as truly networked nonprofits. Connected Congregations focus on strengthening relationships, building community, and supporting self-organizing and organic leadership.  They are flatter and more nimble, measure their effectiveness in new and more nuanced ways, allocate their resources differently, and use technology in a seamless and integrated way to support their mission and goals.  We hope these posts will be the launching pad for important conversations in our community. Please comment on this post, and read and comment on others in the series to share your perspective, ideas, work and questions. Thanks to UJA Federation of New York for supporting this work. 


This post is also cross posted on the URJ blog.

Getting to Know You

It's the start of a new Religious School year and you want to do something to start the year with a bang. It would be good to find a way to help parents and children meet the teachers right away. And it's always nice to use new technology to show that the synagogue is moving with the times. These were some of the aims as we embarked on a new project at The Community Synagogue.

It was on the Darim Social Media Success Stories webinar series that I saw the way that Rabbi Rebecca Milder had used social media and QR codes for displaying the work of their students. It got me thinking about the ways that we could use QR codes in our own synagogue community.

The idea was to record videos of all of our teachers with a welcome message to the new students introducing themselves and sharing their excitement for the forthcoming school year. These videos would be available through our website. But the primary way in which we intended to share them was via posters in the lobby of the synagogue, with QR codes linking to all of the videos.

We registered with as I had seen them recommended by Rabbi David Gerber on another Darim webinar. For a small fee this service provided us with analytics for each code we created and also gave us the potential to subsequently change the web page to which the QR Code was linked.

Next came the videos. Teachers who were technologically able filmed their own and the rest we recorded using iPhones. While I am sure we could have made better quality recordings with a more sophisticated camera, for the short 20-30 second clips the iPhone was sufficient. All of the clips were uploaded to YouTube and filed as 'unlisted' so that there was some degree of privacy. We then embedded all of the videos onto individual pages on our website, so that the QR codes would direct people to our website rather than YouTube.

By the first day of Religious School we had 31 videos, all but one of our teachers was happy to be a part of the project. Each teacher had their own section on a poster which included their picture, the classes they were teaching and the QR code to watch their video. These were mounted together onto 6 poster boards and displayed in the synagogue lobby as people made their way into the sanctuary for the opening of school. We also printed out a few sheets with information on how to use QR codes and to download a QR scanner.


There was one line to register new students and there was another line to scan the codes and watch the welcome videos, with a real sense of excitement about the new display. It was great to watch as parents and children met their teachers 'virtually' before meeting in person later that morning.

We've continued to display the boards in the lobby to give people further opportunities to scan the codes and watch the videos. We have had well over 100 scans of the QR codes by parents and children of the synagogue, and it's been a great way for the community to get to know one another.

How Seattle Childrens Hospital Went Outside The Box With Its Facebook Page

Darim is hosting a blog carnival (a series of posts from various guest bloggers on a topic) on "Connected Congregations".  The following post from Shel Holtz (originally published on his blog and shared here with persmission) as such profound implications for how synagogues can be supporting and connecting and empowering their community and individual members. 

The bold human and emotional statement made clear in this story should inspire congregational leaders to reenvision not only how to use their Facebook pages, but how to be a positive organizing force in their communities.  I invite you to share reactions, ideas or your own examples in the comments.  What could this look like in a congregational setting?

For some time, hospitals have had Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and a host of other social channels. Like most other organizations, the hard-coded institutional mindset limits the uses to which hospitals put these networks. Upcoming events, health tips, medical news reports, staff spotlights and recognition characterize the usual hospital feeds.

As with other institutions, hospitals need to make outside-the-box thinking with their pages the new inside-the-box. You now have a channel to engage with people who find you interesting, important, relevant or useful. How can you take advantage of that?

Years ago, when I interviewed him for a newsletter article, User Interface Engineering founder and CEO Jared Spool told me that any technology could accomplish only three things. It can solve a problem, improve a process or let you do something that simply wasn’t possible before.

Where are the opportunities to problem solving, process improvement or innovation in a hospital Facebook page?

It took an artist-in-residence to come up with one answer at Seattle Children’s Hospital. John Blalock was making routine visits to the room of 16-year-old patient Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem, who had been stuck in the hospital for weeks for treatment of graft-versus-host disease, which appeared after her November 2011 bone marrow transplant for acute myeloid leukemia.

Along with all the other things Barzallo Sockemtickem missed about being at home, heer cat Merry topped the list. Merry was the subject of most of her conversations with Blalock, who has worked with other patients on photo and music video projects. He first asked other Children’s Hospital staffers for pictures of their cats, but it was the patient herself who pointed out that he could score a lot more photos with a request on the hospital’s Facebook page. The request asked for photos to be posted to the wall by July 25.

The post drew more than 1,000 comments, the vast majority of them accompanied by photos. Ultimately, more than 3,000 photos arrived, with snail-mail adding to those shared on Facebook. 

On the day of the deadline, Blalock erected a tent of sheets over Barzallo Sockemtickem’s bed onto which he projected the images of the slideshow. A video of the virtual cat immersion chamber posted to YouTube has been viewed nearly 190,000 times.

The story is heartwarming. An NPR report quoted Barzallo Sockemtickem saying, “In the hospital, you feel cut off. You lose contact with regular people. So the photos made me feel like I was part of the world again.”

It’s a demonstration of the healing power of felines. Hospitals also should be scheming about how to use the palliative properties of art. “All hospitals are such a blank slate for doing art because you can take a medical experience and transform it,” Blalock said.

For communicators tasked with fueling a hospital’s social media efforts, the tale should also spark some thinking beyond the usual grist for the newsfeed mill. Artist-in-residence Blalock is already on to his next brainstorm for how to tap the power of the Net; he’s thinking about how to fuse Skype to a robot that will move among patients in the cancer ward, opening the outside world to them.

The simple Facebook request for photos no doubt did wonders for Seattle Children’s Hospital, since commenting and adding photos boosts a page’s Edgerank score like little else, getting the hospital’s updates onto the newsfeeds of people who have liked the page. The awareness of the story resulted in considerable news coverage; many of the web reports included the YouTube video, further expanding coverage. The YouTube video invites you to visit the Facebook page to see all the photos.

The thinking behind Blalock’s innovation did not begin with, “How can I use the hospital’s Facebook page,” or even, “Is this something I can use the Facebook page for?” It was rather Barzallo Sockemtickem’s recognition that expanding the search for photos to Facebook improved the process of soliciting hospital staff for their pictures.

That’s a mindset that has been outside the box for most hospitals. The more we can change the way we look at the social tools at our disposal, the more we’ll be able to apply them to problems, processes and innovations that can genuinely help people while shining a light on the compassionate care the hospital delivers.


This post is part of a blog series on Connected Congregations being curated by Darim Online in partnership with UJA Federation of New York.  Through this series, we are exploring what it means for synagogues to function as truly networked nonprofits. Connected Congregations focus on strengthening relationships, building community, and supporting self-organizing and organic leadership.  They are flatter and more nimble, measure their effectiveness in new and more nuanced ways, allocate their resources differently, and use technology in a seamless and integrated way to support their mission and goals.  We hope these posts will be the launching pad for important conversations in our community. Please comment on this post, and read and comment on others in the series to share your perspective, ideas, work and questions. Thanks to UJA Federation of New York for supporting this work.

Connected Congregations: Launching a Blog Carnival

We are stepping through the threshold of a new age.  Connected, individually empowered, globalized, diverse and personalized.    The technologies of today are far more than digital communication tools – they are transforming society at an increasingly rapid rate, with important implications and opportunities for the Jewish community.

Synagogues in particular are in the spotlight in this moment of transformation.  When communities are self-organizing, and individuals are seeking “anytime, anywhere” involvement, the structures of synagogue business models, programs and culture are often resonating less and less with those we seek to engage.

In partnership with UJA Federation of New York, and inspired by the work of Beth Kanter, Allison Fine, June Holley and many others, Darim Online is launching an initiative to explore what it means for synagogues to function as truly networked nonprofits.  We call them Connected Congregations. Connected Congregations focus on strengthening relationships, building community, and supporting self-organizing and organic leadership.  They are flatter and more nimble, measure their effectiveness in new and more nuanced ways, allocate their resources differently, and use technology in a seamless and integrated way to support their mission and goals.

As we seek to create rich, connected congregations, investing in relationships is the foundation on which everything else is built.  Like fabric that’s made up of individual threads woven together, the strength of the community is dependent on the strength and character of both each individual thread (relationships) and the tightness and pattern of their weave.

But being a weaver and knitting a healthy and vibrant community takes more than good intentions.  It means knocking down ‘fortress walls’ (in the language of The Networked Nonprofit), pivoting our culture, evolving our staffing structure, and remaking our structures of leadership.  It takes real change, and active stewardship of that change over several years. There’s a lot of research and work to come for all of us. 

As we get started, we’re launching a blog carnival on Connected Congregations.  Over the next few months we’ll be handing the microphone of this blog to many smart people both from within and outside of the Jewish community, and some who straddle both worlds.  We’ll be encouraging them to share their ideas, their work, their insights and observations in order to develop a narrative and invite you into a conversation about being – and becoming – a Connected Congregation.

You can follow this series of posts on our blog by searching for #connectedcongs on our site, and following the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #connectedcongs.   Do you have a story or insight to share?  Contact Lisa Colton if you’d like to be considered for participation in the blog carnival.

This post is part of a blog series on Connected Congregations being curated by Darim Online in partnership with UJA Federation of New York.  Through this series, we are exploring what it means for synagogues to function as truly networked nonprofits. Connected Congregations focus on strengthening relationships, building community, and supporting self-organizing and organic leadership.  They are flatter and more nimble, measure their effectiveness in new and more nuanced ways, allocate their resources differently, and use technology in a seamless and integrated way to support their mission and goals.  We hope these posts will be the launching pad for important conversations in our community. Please comment on this post, and read and comment on others in the series to share your perspective, ideas, work and questions. Thanks to UJA Federation of New York for supporting this work.