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Welcome to the Rockland Jewish Initiative
The Rockland Jewish Initiative (RJI) was created in July 2012 by Lisa Green in conjunction with the Jewish Federation of Rockland County. Its mission is to energize synagogue life in Rockland through partnerships in synagogue transformation. The Rockland Jewish Initiative works with synagogues through grants to engage members and new leadership, through showcasing models, projects and ideas for synagogue renewal, and by bringing speakers and workshops on synagogue transformation to Rockland.

Learn more about RJI: download the brochure

Learn more about Rockland's synagogues: download the brochure


Upcoming Synagogue Leadership Council Events

May 15: Alternative Models of Affiliation with Lisa Harris Glass
Delve into one of the most sacrosanct areas of synagogues: membership and dues. Spurred on by changing demographics (including generational differences), synagogues across the country are experimenting with (and exploring) alternative models of affiliation. From free will and fair share, to investor models and tapas, congregations are exploring and finding other ways to remain viable.

Lisa Harris Glass, Director of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey’s Synagogue Leadership Initiative, has spent more than 20 years in synagogue management, administration, and consulting. Synagogue leaders interested in attending should call Cantor Barry Kanarek at 845-362-4200 ext. 170.

New Member Grant
RJI's New Member Grant is available to new member families at synagogues on the Rockland County Board of Rabbis (see list below). The grant is a one-time gift towards synagogue membership or Hebrew school tuition. Eligible families must have no synagogue affiliation within the past 3 years in Rockland County and must participate in a synagogue committee, PTA, etc., to receive the grant.

Rockland County Board of Rabbis Synagogues
Beth Am Temple in Pearl River, Congregation Shaarey Israel in Montebello, Congregation Sons of Israel in Upper Nyack, Congregation Sons of Jacob in Haverstraw, Montebello Jewish Center in Suffern, Nanuet Hebrew Center in New City, New City Jewish Center in New City, Orangetown Jewish Center in Orangeburg, Temple Beth El in Spring Valley, Temple Beth Sholom in New City, Temple Beth Torah in Upper Nyack and West Clarkstown Jewish Center in New City.

Synagogue Transformation Grant
The Synagogue Transformation Grant (with a value of up to $1,500) was created to help synagogues implement board and leadership development, create alternative outreach channels and revise dues structures. It is designed to facilitate a transformational project with a specific intended outcome.

Contact Us
We are part of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County. Our office is in the Federation at Rockland’s Jewish Community Campus, 450 West Nyack Road, West Nyack NY 10994. 

To reach us by phone or email, please contact:

Cantor Barry Kanarek, Director
845 362-4200 extension 170
845 635-4282 fax

Why Join a Synagogue?



The Synagogue Leadership Council was created in 2011 to bring together both the clergy and leadership of Rockland’s synagogues to discuss topics of common concern. This year the SLC will host four events, each featuring a different expert on synagogue transformation. Read more about the events in our brochure.


Connected Congregations: From Dues and Membership to Sustaining Communities of Purpose download this report

The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation Into a Sacred Community by Dr. Ron Wolfson. Jewish Lights Publishing

Tomorrow's Synagogue Today: Creating Vibrant Centers of Jewish Life by Rabbi Hayim Herring. The Alban Institute

Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues From Functional to Visionary by Isa Aron, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence A. Hoffman and Ari Y. Kelman. The Alban Institute