November 2019 Newsletter


Dear Webmasters:

It's hard to believe Biennial is just a few weeks away. I hope we will see representatives of your congregation here in Chicago December 11-15. I will be in attendance Thursday and Friday, probably between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. I will mostly be at URJ Central, available for consultations. Also, on Thursday at 1:15 p.m. and Friday at 12:30 p.m., there will be a presentation on URJ Communications at URJ Central. I will be presenting the RJ Web Builder piece and will be available before and after the presentation to answer any questions.

We've set up two easily add-able calendars, one for Torah readings and one for Haftarah readings, through 2024. With these .ICS links, you can add both calendars the same way you've added your temple's google calendars.

In January and February please plan to prominently feature a flyer and information about the crucial importance of every Reform Jew to vote in the World Zionist Congress Elections in your bulletins.

  • Ready-made materials can be found in the Congregational Toolkit in the Tent.

  • The Congregational Captains group in the Tent will post the voting website and other information as it becomes available.

  • General text for your communications:

    “It's time! Voting in the World Zionist Congress Elections begins January 21, and your vote is critical to maintaining a large Reform presence in Israel and the United States! Your vote is the only democratic opportunity you have to influence Israeli society as we continue our efforts towards equality, pluralism and tolerance. Voting takes place online from January 21, 2020 to March 11, 2020 and will take less than 90 seconds to participate. If you're 18+ and identify as Jewish, we hope we can count on you to vote Reform.”

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):

B'nai Israel, Grand Forks, ND
B'nai Shalom V'Tikvah, Ajax, ON
Temple Beth El of South Orange County, Aliso Viejo, CA

Joel Emerman
Congregational Websites Manager
212.452.6579 (Central Time)

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Did You Know?

You Can Watch Biennial Plenaries from Home

All URJ Biennial plenary sessions will be livestreamed. If you are not able to attend, bookmark this page and make sure to turn in during the days and times listed. Also, encourage your congregations to check out the full Biennial 2019 schedule.

Don't forget 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.

Are you an educator or education lay leader who is planning to attend the Biennial? Get ready with a "prep rally" on Dec. 3! Register now »

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

It can be difficult to look at website or email traffic and figure out how it relates to overall engagement with your congregation. Here are five metrics that will help you connect your online and physical numbers for a more complete metric of your community's growth.

Hanukkah Print and Digital Bulletin Ads Are Available

Use these Hanukkah camera-ready ads for your congregation's newsletter or bulletin (print or email) and on your website or Facebook page.

Registration Is Open for This Summer's URJ Youth Programs

There are tons of opportunities for young people to connect, learn, grow, and have fun next summer. Registration is open! Request materials to help let your congregation know, or access ready-to-use materials for digital use through our marketing toolkits.

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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