Building Capacity for Change in Congregational Education through Communities of Practice

May 23, 2017

Source: eJewish Philanthropy 


The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has found a strong and meaningful vehicle in the Community of Practice (CoP) strategy, which convenes cohorts of congregational leaders for long-term, innovative learning about a topic of shared interest. Participating congregations form teams of lay leaders and professionals who connect with other teams, learn together, and apply their learning by experimenting in their community. We take pride in the fact that URJ Communities of Practice are currently connecting and working to inspire change in more than 100 congregations.

In the past seven months alone, 16 of these congregations have been in a CoP learning together to reimagine congregational education for families with children in grades K-7. Through the URJ Reimagining Congregational Education CoP, congregations are working to establish a new vision of education and engagement and explore alternative models of congregational education by learning both from each other and from expert practitioners. Through this work, congregations learn skills that help them think intentionally about all areas of congregational life.

This work has revealed to us several key principles about building capacity for leading change in congregational education.

The responsibility to lead change in congregational education lies primarily on the shoulders of each congregation’s sacred partners. In our complex communities, this is certainly challenging work. However, when we build leaders’ capacity to innovate, congregations can inspire educational creativity and build stronger Jewish communities that thrive now and for generations to come.

Read the entire article at eJewish Philanthropy

Updated: May. 29, 2017