The Harold and Renee Berger Synagogue Network for Families with Young Children was established in 2008. The Berger Network was developed to allow Jewish Learning Venture to encourage and support congregations to develop and implement significant, systemic approaches to attract and engage Jewish families with young children in their congregations and into Jewish life. In addition to launching specific initiatives, the Berger Network was designed to create a process framework that would create long-lasting changes in the congregation.
Over the last seven years, participating Berger Network congregations have created a valuable resource: a program bank of initiatives which can be found here.
We are currently recruiting the fifth cohort of congregations! Each year this initiative raises new questions, challenges congregations to think differently, and breaks new ground in engaging families with young children. Our community continues to benefit from the generous funding and vision that are at the base of the Berger Network.
And what are congregational leaders saying about the Berger Network?
• “We could not have run our program without the Berger funding. We are so appreciative it was there to help us jump start our relationship building with our families!”
• “Families comment on how welcome they feel as a result of our program!”
• “The grant allowed us to print materials, showcasing our offerings to families, that we are now able to distribute; a tool we did not have before. Thank you!”
• Since we launched the Berger program, we are noticing some families attending other congregational programs like our Purim Carnival and our most recent Tot Shabbat!
• The program is enrolling students in Jewish education who would not regularly be enrolled in a yearlong program.
• “The most interesting, unanticipated outcome was the impact on our registration process. Volunteers got involved in ways they hadn’t before – calling, making personal connections to perspective families – and it paid off. We went from three families to eleven literally overnight!”
Join the next cohort of the Berger Network – applications are being accepted now! Click here to apply. Applications are due next Friday, June 5. A Berger Network webinar will be hosted on June 11 “What’s Happening in Family Engagement” spotlighting local and national examples of Family Engagement initiatives that you can implement in your congregation.
Kudos to the congregations that have participated in the network over the last seven years:
Adath Israel of the Main Line
Beth David Reform Congregation
Beth Israel Congregation, Chester County
Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun
Congregation Adath Jeshurun, Elkins Park
Congregation B’nai Jacob, Phoenixville
Congregation Beth Am Israel
Congregation Beth El
Congregation Beth Or
Congregation Brothers of Israel, Newtown
Congregation Kol Emet, Yardley
Congregation Or Ami, Lafayette Hill
Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Congregation Tifereth Israel
Congregations of Shaare Shamayim
Germantown Jewish Centre
Kehilat HaNahar, New Hope
Kesher Israel Congregation
Kesher Israel Congregation, West Chester
Ohev Shalom of Bucks County
Old York Road Temple – Beth Am, Abington
Or Hadash, A Reconstructionist Congregation, Fort Washington
Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El
Temple Brith Achim, King of Prussia
Temple Judea of Bucks County
Temple Sinai, Dresher
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell
Don’t see your congregation? Join us this year! Previously participating congregations may apply again!
For questions: Lori Rubin / firstname.lastname@example.org