Community Organising for Stronger Synagogues and a More Just World
The training will teach core concepts and tools of community organising and how they can be used for congregational development and for social justice campaigns. Trainees will learn to think and act in new ways which may assist to create the changes we want to see in our own communities and in the wider local environment in which we participate. These skills can be applied within the synagogue community to develop leadership and strengthen communities and beyond it to build relationships with other local organisations in order to effect change and win justice in our local areas.
This is a course for people who want to participate more effectively in the life of the synagogue and who want their synagogues or communities to be both vibrant and powerful: not made up of atomised individuals paying a fee for service; not one where people sit back and expect their leadership to “do Jewish” for them; and not one where the same old members get more and more burnt out all the while complaining about those who haven’t got involved.
It is also for those people who are motivated, or who can see other members of their communities motivated, by the Jewish principle of tikkun olam – that it is our responsibility to partner with God in repairing the world. It is for those who maybe already have been involved in service projects such as night shelters and drop in centres that many synagogues are running, and who want to think about how synagogues can do and be more of a force for good in the local community – and how tikkun olam can be a greater role in their community’s Judaism. It is for people who want to go beyond good intentions to really make an impact.
On this course we will look at how to build communities where:
- People have real relationships, where we know not only what others do but who they are and who they strive to be; where we share our stories with each other and work together to construct a communal narrative;
- Our communal narratives present people with a common mission, a common purpose, and a shared set of values and interests;
- Rather than waiting for others to do for them, people step up and take leadership;
- The community comes together to build the power needed to realize that vision and takes collective action to be the community that we dream of and to create a more just world that reflects our common values.