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The Spirituality of Welcoming

How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community

Dr. Ron Wolfson

6 x 9, 224 pp, Quality Paperback Original
978-1-58023-244-9

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A practical guide for envisioning—and transforming—your synagogue into a powerful new congregation of welcoming, learning and healing.
“The new synagogue we envision is a spiritual center for all those who set foot inside it. It is a kehillah kedoshah, a sacred community, where relationships are paramount, where worship is engaging, where everyone is learning, where repair of the world is a moral imperative, where healing is offered, where personal and institutional transformation are embraced.The times are ripe for this spiritual call.”
—from the Introduction
So often we want our congregations to be more—more compelling, more member-focused, more spiritual and yet more useful for our daily lives. Through reflection, examples, tips and exercises—and incorporating the fruits of Synagogue 2000 (now Synagogue 3000), a groundbreaking decade-long program investigating the challenges facing modern synagogues—this inspiring handbook both establishes a sound foundation for why a deep hospitality is crucial for the survival of today’s spiritual communities, and dives into the practical hands-on how of turning your congregation into a place of invitation and openness that includes: Prayer that is engaging, uplifting and spiritually moving • Institutional deepening that is possible because of an openness to change • Study that engages adults and families, as well as children • Good deeds—the work of social justice—as a commitment of each and every member • An ambience of welcome that creates a culture of warmth and outreach • Healing that offers comfort and support at times of illness and loss • ... and much more.
“Wonderful ... combines thoughtful reflection on the nature of congregational worship and welcoming with practical help on how to make your congregation a more spiritual and deeply Jewish place. An invaluable tool for all who believe that build-ing a vibrant, caring and supportive community is the synagogue’s most pressing task.”
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, president, Union for Reform Judaism
“Ron Wolfson is right: synagogues are the ‘retail outlets’ for Judaism. This is an important book for anyone who believes the synagogue is the critical entry point for the Jewish people.”
Bernie Marcus, co-founder, The Home Depot
“Inspirational.... A must read for clergy people, congregants and policy makers who want to broaden and enrich their synagogues.”
Jewish Book World
“Teaches how to transform outmoded, misunderstood rites into vibrant, spirit-filled worship. Every synagogue should own and read this book.”
Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles
“Ron Wolfson truly loves synagogues! This book has something for every synagogue leader and for many members as well—inspiration, challenges and very practical ideas.”
Isa Aron, PhD, author of The Self-Renewing Congregation: Organizational Strategies for Revitalizing Congregational Life  
“Reveals the secrets of synagogue transformation in a most inspiring and accessible way.... Empowers readers to make an immediate difference. [Will help you] transform your synagogue culture from boring to soaring.”
Goldie Milgram, author of Meaning and Mitzvah: Daily Practices for Reclaiming Judaism through Prayer, God, Torah, Hebrew, Mitzvot and Peoplehood
“A compelling call for a culture of welcoming in American congregations.... Especially appropriate and useful for lay and professional congregational leaders.”
Steven M. Cohen, research professor of Jewish social policy, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion
“Ron Wolfson [has] faith that synagogues can become centers of spiritual enrichment and empowerment—more vibrant and healthy than ever before. I am thrilled that this resource will be available to faith communities seeking ... a vital transformative role in our changing world.”
Brian McLaren, pastor, author of A New Kind of Christian
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