Synagogue Leadership Initiative Resources

Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey sponsors The Synagogue Leadership Initiative in partnership with the Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation. SLI staff works with synagogue leaders to transform, build and create thriving, engaging communities that foster dynamic Jewish life. SLI’s goal is to help synagogues meet the spiritual, educational and social needs and interests of their congregants now and in the future. Synagogue Leadership Initiative provides a range of seminars focused on individual and organizational capacity building as well as individualized consultations for synagogue leaders, both volunteer and professional.

Capacity-building Workshops

Synagogue Leadership Initiative offers hands-on learning laboratories for synagogue leaders, both volunteer and professional, to aid them in their work. The workshops give leaders an opportunity to develop and share best practices for synagogue management, governance and leadership development. For more information, please contact Joshua Keyak at or call 201-820-3914.

Synagogue Consultation

Synagogue Leadership Initiative staff will consult, by request, with leaders of a congregation to explore and help resolve issues and challenges specific to its membership. Some of the topics on which SLI will consult include, but are not limited to:

  • Change Initiatives
  • Mergers and Collaborations Facilitation
  • Board Leadership Development and Succession Planning
  • Synagogue Staffing Structure and Relationships
  • Membership Development
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Synagogue Surveys and Strategic Planning

For more information, please contact Joshua Keyak at or call 201-820-3914.

Professional Councils

Rabbis Council

Synagogue Leadership Initiative hosts a Rabbinic Retreat every year in addition to other programming opportunities offered exclusively for rabbis. For more information, please contact Joshua Keyak at or call 201-820-3914.

Executive Directors/Administrators Council

Synagogue Leadership Initiative convenes the Executive Directors/Administrators group every eight weeks to share best practices in synagogue management and networking. For more information, please contact Joshua Keyak at or call 201-820-3914.

Principals Council

The Religious School Principals Council meets on a regular basis to discuss innovation and trends in religious school education.

One Book, One Community

Jewish Federation’s One Book, One Community program is designed to enhance Jewish learning throughout northern New Jersey. Synagogues, agencies and other Jewish communal organizations join together in shared conversations and events centered on a selected book. Each group can use the book as a springboard for discussion, study and celebration, not only of the book, but of the issues, the culture and the ideas it raises. This year’s title is Among the Living, by Jonathan Rabb. It takes place in Savannah, Georgia in 1947 and covers many themes such as Jews in the South during the Jim Crow era, relationships between different movements of Judaism (Reform and Conservative) and cultures (Sephardic and Ashkenazi), life after the Holocaust and is a good love story. For more information, please contact Rachel Jacobus at or call 201-820-3902.

Jewish Camp Concierge/One Happy Camper

Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey is proud to partner with Foundation for Jewish Camp on the One Happy Camper initiative. Since 2009 we have provided more than 900 one-time stipends of up to $1,000 each to first-time campers at non-profit Jewish camps (through the summer of 2017). We offer a personalized “camp concierge” service for families seeking just the right camp experience for their child. For more information, please contact or call 201-820-3978.