In the past decade many intelligent people who care deeply about synagogues have written about them. So how is this book different from all other books?
Many books take the overall mission of the synagogue as a given, and the recommendations around structure are really about incremental change. Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today stimulates the reader to unleash the power of synagogues to exponentially influence people’s Jewish lives.
Herring offers creative scenarios to stretch the imagination about how more synagogues could become vibrant centers of Jewish life and how congregational leaders can begin to chart a new course toward achieving that goal. Key to his vision are the ways synagogues can collaborate with other synagogues and other Jewish institutions in the local Jewish community and around the globe, as well as with organizations outside of the Jewish community.
Herring also explores structural change that is occurring in the rabbinate, as well as future roles rabbis may play and how rabbis might begin preparing for that future now. He shares insights from twelve rabbis from across the country about new models of synagogue mission, governance, and organization. He concludes with recommendations about the kinds of investments those who care about synagogues and the Jewish future need to make so that synagogues will remain a significant force in the Jewish community.
"Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today is certain to stimulate creative thinking within the American synagogue. Only a few people have thought as deeply as Herring has about the contemporary synagogue. This volume—shorter, better written and more grounded in reality than Kaplan's Judaism as a Civilization—will hopefully, over time, have a similar impact in compelling congregations to think about what they are and what they might become."
—Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History Chair, Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program Brandeis University
"Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today is 'must reading' for all persons striving to create the institutional frameworks that are necessary to meet the ongoing spiritual and communal needs of American Jews in the 21st century."—David Ellenson, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
"Herring's big vision and practical knowledge of synagogue life unite to provide the roadmap and insights to help leaders steer their congregations into the future."
—Lisa Colton, president of Darim Online
"Hayim Herring has distilled years of experience into what is the definitive book on synagogue transformation."—Irwin Kula, president of Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
"A bold, gutsy look at the North American synagogue."—Amy L. Sales, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University
"Herring provides a vision of synagogues based on big ideas and collaborative relationships—and clearly articulates the leadership practices of rabbis and congregants necessary to enact that vision."—William A. Kahn, Boston University School of Management and coauthor of This House We Build
"Herring's wisdom provides a practical and entrepreneurial guide to forming vibrant, relevant synagogue life."—Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church and Reframing Hope
Rabbi Hayim Herring is the CEO of the Herring Consulting Network, whose mission is to prepare today’s leaders for tomorrow’s organizations. He was executive director of STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal), a national foundation for congregational innovation and executive leadership development, where he created the Synaplex™ Initiative. Hayim has served as a senior rabbi of a congregation, assistant director of a federation, and has published dozens of scholarly articles on the American Jewish community.
Alban No. 426
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