September 2019 Newsletter


Dear Webmasters:

We have heard from many of you about ongoing issues with Events Calendar. We have searched for a better option, but it seems that Events Calendar is actually the best option currently available. To fix some of those problems we have done some major custom work and are pleased to announce that the customized version has been activated on all sites. Your Events Calendar should now offer automatic updates and automatic deletion of events. If you continue to experience issues with those functions, please let me know.

Unfortunately we have not been able to fix the problem with duplicate events. Here are some things you can do to avoid duplicate events and how to fix them when they occur.

Your congregation’s digital profile is key to introducing your community to new people and engaging existing members. As you plan your communications for the coming months, make sure you take advantage of these communication tools that are available to you and your congregation.

Laying out your website content in user-friendly ways is key to communicating effectively. Our most recent webinar reviewed the Themify Builder modules available to you and which ones work best for different kinds of content. If you missed the webinar or want to review it, you can watch the Themify Builder webinar recording.

Time to double-check: Is your congregation’s leadership info up-to-date in the URJ Congregations Portal? Use the "Manage Congregation" and "Manage Leadership" links to make updates. Questions? Email URJ Data Management.

Please help me congratulate the congregations who have gone live recently on RJ Web Builder 3.0 (a full list is always available on the help site):

Ames Jewish Congregation, Ames, IA
Congregation Bet Haverim, Davis, CA
Beth Shalom v'Emeth Reform Temple, Brooklyn, NY
Temple B'nai Sholem, New Bern, NC

Joel Emerman
Congregational Websites Manager
212.452.6579 (Central Time)

Quick Tips

How to Duplicate a Page or Post
There are two ways to duplicate a Page or Post. Learn which one is best depending on your setup.

How to Make a Field Read-Only in Gravity Forms
The read-only option allows you to make certain form field visible but not editable.

Did You Know?

Biennial Registration is Open

The URJ Biennial is December 11-15 in Chicago. Take advantage of Early Bird pricing and unlock extra perks through the Delegation program.

There are many ways to stay up-to-day on all things Biennial!

Make sure your congregation knows about all the opportunities at Biennial with ready-to-go recruitment tools, like social media ads, printable flyers, and graphics. Special opportunities are available for teens with the all-new Teen Experience at Biennial. There are also special programs and pricing for college students attendees.

Don't miss a chance to see your congregation on the big screen at Biennial! Submit photos of your congregation's holiday celebrations, social action programs, anything that demonstrates your community's vibrancy and diversity to the Biennial 2019 photo contest. Winners will receive Amazon gifts cards.

Monthly Bulletin Tip

Social media is a tool like any other - to use it well, you need to know what results you are looking for. These three questions will help you focus your efforts, whether you are just starting out with social media or reviewing your existing campaigns.

Six Vital Resources for Your Congregation’s High Holiday Prep

We know your congregational leadership is working hard to prepare for a meaningful holiday season. To help you during this busy time, we’ve compiled a few important High Holiday resources for your congregation.

Fall Holiday Print and Digital Bulletin Ads are Available

Use these Rosh HaShanah camera-ready ads for your congregation's newsletter or bulletin (print or email) and on your website or Facebook page. Also available in the Rosh HaShanah ad collection, use this template to create custom social media ads featuring your congregation's logo for Facebook and Instagram. The template is in PowerPoint format and instructions are included in the file.

New! Customizable Membership Ads: Geared Towards First Time Members

There are 8.5 x 11 flyers and quarter-page bulletin ads (fillable pdf forms) as well as ads sized to be used on social media (powerpoint). On all of these you can add your own text, contact information and logo. There is also one flyer, in powerpoint, where you can swap in your own photos. Download the membership ads.

The URJ Offers a Teen Songleading Fellowship

The URJ Teen Songleading Fellowship invites young Jewish songleaders to develop their songleading skills, deepen their knowledge of repertoire and communal singing technique, and build meaningful leadership and relationship opportunities in their congregations, camps, and communities. Nominate a rising musical leader from your congregation.

Registration Opens This Fall for URJ Youth Programs

There are tons of opportunities for young people to connect, learn, grow, and have fun next summer. Request marketing materials for youth 2020 summer programs.

Staying in Touch

We are challenged in reaching current webmasters due to high turnover and changes in email addresses. If you are receiving this email, you are the person who was reported to the URJ to be handling your congregation's website. If there are additional people who need to be on this list or if you need to get off this list, please send corrected information to


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