I feel like I should go to synagogue, but what s the point?
When I got lost fumbling through the prayer book, no one bothered to help me out. I felt like a total outsider.
All they really want is my money.
We ve all heard these complaints before. Maybe we ve even spoken them ourselves a time or two. And who can blame us? Too often religious congregations dwindle to little more than cliquish gatherings of longtime members or places we send our kids for their obligatory religious education. They feel dry, irrelevant, unwelcoming.
Yet congregations of all sizes can be so much more. Writing with humor, verve and candor, Ron Wolfson sets forth a renewed vision of synagogues as energetic sacred communities and outlines how you can transform your own congregation into an inviting center of vibrant relationships and personal spiritual rejuvenation. The key lies in a spirituality of welcoming not mere politeness or courtesy, but a deep hospitality manifested in all aspects of congregational life and based on the fundamental understanding that all people members, guests and visitors alike are created in the image of God.
|Studying synagogues : the genesis of synagogue 2000||2|
|The transformation of American Judaism||7|
|A new kind of Aliyah||11|
|What are the major challenges facing synagogues today?||13|
|Why don't most Jews enjoy synagogue?||17|
|The spirituality of welcoming : the view from the summit||24|
|The synagogue 2000 theory of synagogue transformation||27|
|How to transform a synagogue : strategies for effecting change||27|
|What values should guide us as we seek to change?||36|
|Features of the synagogue 2000 process of synagogue transformation||39|
|Synagogue 2000 becomes synagogue 3000||43|
|Adopting the synagogue 2000 transformation process : you can do it!||44|
|What does Jewish tradition teach us about hospitality?||45|
|Why is hospitality so important for synagogues?||50|
|The radical hospitality experts : Chabad and the megachurches||52|
|Emergent congregations : redefining hospitality||54|
|How synagogues can provide quality service : learning from the corporate world||54|
|Giving the synagogue a more welcoming face : the importance of greeting||62|
|How can the synagogue be a more welcoming space?||70|
|The art of dealing with difficult people||78|
|Researching welcoming worship in churches||84|
|Researching welcoming worship in synagogues||89|
|Using music to transform the synagogue experience||96|
|The spiritual message||110|
|Welcoming during worship||116|
|Other ways to enhance worship||123|
|Empowering the worship team||133|
|The transformation of synagogue worship||138|
|Recruiting new members||148|
|The culture of dues||158|
|Welcoming new members||170|
|Deepening the connectedness of all members to the sacred community||179|
|Structure, staffing, and funding for growth||194|
|Broadcasting the message||197|
|Action guide for congregational leaders||203|