February 2022 Newsletter


Dear Webmasters:

We are gearing up to perform some major software updates to our platform. These updates include minor bug fixes and new features to Themify Builder. Due to the nature of these updates, we'll only be able to update 5-10 sites a week over the course of 3-4 months. We will of course apply all updates to test sites first and will monitor each site as we must update each one separately. Please be on the lookout in the next few weeks for a more detailed plan.

Website content is the driving force behind telling your congregation's story. With your content, you can show off the wonderful community you've created, recruit new members to take a fresh look at your synagogue, and encourage existing members to get more involved in synagogue life. Today's websites need to be an extension of the community your synagogue is trying to create (or in some cases, has already created). We have developed a series of guidelines to provide you with best practices when it comes to writing inclusive content, taking pictures, creating podcasts, and producing videos.

With more and more synagogues using Zoom these days, it's become a perfectly acceptable tool for creating web-quality videos. Review these tips on how to ensure good video quality when recording using Zoom. And if you're recording a meeting or webinar, take these steps to ensure platform safety, privacy and security.

Coming soon, we will be announcing #ZoomDirect, a great new deal on Zoom licenses your congregation will be able to buy directly through the Reform Movement Marketplace. Through the ZoomDirect program, congregations can purchase as few or as many licenses as they like with all the functionality they will need.

Don't forget to utilize the Communications group or the RJ Web Builder group in The Tent as a place to share resources, ask questions and connect with other communities and congregation webmasters.

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 Beth Shalom, Florida, NY
Temple Ohev Sholom, Harrisburg, PA

Joel Emerman
Senior Website Manager
212.452.6579 (Central Time)

Quick Tips

How to Add an Accessibility Toolbar
This plugin adds several helpful features to make sure your website complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Also follow these tips to make your website more ADA compliant.

Did You KNow?

The URJ Has Compiled Some Practical Next Steps in Synagogue Security
Following the events at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX, here are some resources to keep your synagogue prepared with a renewed focus on safety and security. Also, watch our webinar where a panel of experts discuss practical guidance regarding safety and security systems and protocols for our physical worship, education, and community spaces.

There are Great Opportunities for URJ Presidents Who are Starting Their Terms in 2022
If your congregation will welcome a new president this year, we want to let them know about unique URJ opportunities for them. 2022 Incoming Presidents should complete this short intake form. Also, update your congregation's presidential succession info using this form.

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.


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 datamgmt@urj.org.


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