Rabbi Eric Yoffie and Peter Weidhorn, the president and board chair of the Union for Reform Judaism respectively, have an open letter to the movement in the current issue of Reform Judaism magazine. Most noteworthy is their announcement that the URJ will be reducing the financial contributions required of its congregations: 5 percent in the current fiscal year, 20 percent in the next, and 10 the year after that.
They also boil down a recently adopted plan to service their congregations better to four essential points:
- A proactive advocate who will get to know your synagogue; develop an enduring relationship; assist you in identifying your vision, priorities, and emergent needs; and make sure that you receive the services and resources you need
- Access to experts in a wide variety of specialties
- Affinity networking/idea sharing grouped by similar congregational demographics, sizes, and interests
- Guidance to help your congregation lengthen the “affiliation life span” of synagogue members and build lifelong engagement with Reform Jewish values and community
The URJ has already let go 60 employees and closed 14 regional offices in an effort to close a $6 million budget shortfall, as we reported back in February.