This House We Build: Lessons for Healthy Synagogues and the People Who Dwell There
Terry Bookman, William Kahn
This one-volume guide to a healthy congregation combines the wisdom of a rabbi with the expertise of an organizational development consultant to demonstrate the power of positive relationships and show how to avoid some of the common traps that can lead to serious conflict. Using the life of the synagogue as its central illustration, this book gives vital lessons for congregations of any faith on how to be a healthy community of believers. Leaders and congregants alike are shown how to incorporate all their gifts for the creation and support of a healthy faith community.
Synagogue life is considered through case studies—struggles over what to do with an endowment fund, a social action committee that no one joins, changing a worship service time, clergy transitions—which are examined for what they reveal about the struggles of congregations and their leaders to create healthy institutions. Each chapter integrates organizational theory and faith values in the pursuit of a deeper understanding of synagogue life. For non-Jewish congregations, the book offers rich insights into Hebrew texts and culture and the common elements between synagogue and church life.This House We Build
enables both clergy and members to learn more deeply about creating and sustaining communities of faith in the course of inevitable transitions and everyday challenges.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
“There is currently no book like This House We Build. It should be study material for all synagogue board members and required reading for synagogue professionals. The authors have given us a gift.” —Rabbi Hayim Herring, Executive Director, Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal (STAR)
“Too many congregations sacrifice the good in pursuit of the perfect. A conceptual and practical guide to health and balance, This House We Build is a welcome addition the synagogue studies conversation, and organizational leaders—not just in synagogues—will find it a valuable addition to their bookshelves.” —J. Shawn Landres, Director of Research, Synagogue 3000 / S3K Synagogue Studies Institute
“I had had the good fortune to attend a study session with the authors in spring of 2006 at which they shared a bit of material and teaching that was going into the book. After it was published, I greatly enjoyed reading it, and have referred to it extensively in teaching and working within my congregation. We have found the book to be an invaluable additional tool in our efforts to become a more effective organization.” —Rabbi Eric J. Siroka, Temple Beth-El, South Bend, Indiana
About the AuthorsRabbi Terry A. Bookman is cofounder of the Eitzah Center for Congregational Leadership. He is an educator, an author, a spiritual leader, and rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Miami, Florida. He holds an M.A. in Hebrew letters from Hebrew Union College and an M.A. in systematic theology from Marquette University.
William Kahn is professor of organizational behavior at Boston University’s School of Management, where he teaches courses on leadership, managing teams, and organizational change. He is also cofounder of the Eitzah Center for Congregational Leadership and holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University.
Alban No. AL323
paper, 384 pages
($16.00 for members)