May 2020 Newsletter


Dear Webmasters:

I hope that you and your families are safe and healthy.

As many of you are aware, we have been developing our own calendar plugin to replace the current events calendar plugin that has plagued us with ongoing issues. Despite all the custom work we have done on the plugin, many of you still experience problems. These include automatic updates, automatic deletion of events and duplicated events. All these issues are being addressed in the development of the new plugin, which we should be ready to test soon.

The new plugin will include the basic options of importing ICS calendars and syncing them to the site. You will also be able to add categories (calendars) and events manually. There will be a widget for displaying events which can be filtered to just display one calendar or all calendars. The widget will also give you a short code option for embedding a calendar or list of events into any page, post or module. A category color picker and import now button round out the main features. Our goal is to give you all the functionality of the current plugin, but without the hassle and annoyance of the current issues. Once we are done testing and ready to roll it out, I will let you know.

Some great news coming out of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, N.Y. They held a 24-hour zoom-a-thon and streamed it live on their website, as well as Facebook and Youtube Live. Best of all, they raised $100,000. Webmaster Judy Sarch, along with a congregant Genna Farley Flemming, wrote a great piece about the experience and provided their recipe for success. If your congregation has a great story to share, let me know. Maybe we can turn it into a blog piece. Or let other congregations know by writing something in The Tent.

Many of our congregations are offering virtual opportunities that your members can take advantage of. Browse the Reform Movement calendar for a full list. If your congregation has a virtual gathering or program that's open to the public, submit it for inclusion in the Reform Movement calendar..

Don’t forget to utilize the Communications group in The Tent as a place to share resources, ask questions, and connect with other communities.

Coming soon is the new Reform Movement Marketplace, an online portal for congregations to access discounts, services, and data to assist congregations in their work. One of the great features is professional photographed stock images. These are available for you to use on your websites, bulletins, emails and program promotions. Check out the available images for ritual and Jewish life, holidays and worship. Licensing restrictions apply.

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):

Temple Israel of New York, NY
Beth El, Windsor, ON
Congregation Brith Sholem, Ogden, UT
National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis

Joel Emerman
Congregational Websites Manager
212.452.6579 (Central Time)

Quick Tips

How to Use Builder Short codes

There are built in Themify Builder short codes you can use to make editing your site simpler.

How to Set up a Third-Party Member Directory

Looking to set up a member directory or a way for your members to communicate with each other. There are many options out there to consider.

Did You Know

Rosh Hashanah 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.

You Can Experience the Magic of Reform Movement Camps and Teen Programs from Home

With everything from song sessions to cooking demos; pillowcase auctions to Zumba. In addition to all the fun stuff, there are plenty of opportunities to join in on important discussions, and just de-stress. There are even sessions tailored to parents! Check it out at

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



Сategory Menu
Powered by Zendesk