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About the United Synagogue

Last updated: 2003-08-24

United Synagogue

The Mission of the United Synagogue Executive Office is to serve our communities and to lead the organisation by:

The Key Objectives:

  1. Initiating, developing and supporting communities and helping them provide relevant and high quality services to their members.
  2. Providing the infrastructure for Jewish religious life.
  3. Developing creative programmes, which involve members and potential members in Jewish life values.
  4. Recruiting, developing and maintaining outstanding Rabbis and other professional staff, lay leaders and volunteers.
    Creating a family of individual communities which:

We recognise that the United Synagogue Executive Office has two special and particular roles. It is a servant of the Communities and its members, responding to their needs. At the same time it has to lead the organisation, giving a sense of direction and purpose and ensuring that its overall goals can be realised.

The constituent parts of the mission are a bold and clear assertion that there are four distinct but inter-related arenas for activity. They give us a framework for testing out all that we do. As time progresses every project and each initiative must fall within the Mission or must have an alternative and strong justification.

Any programme or activity we undertake on our own must be something that we are in a unique position to achieve. We recognise that on occasion our members' interests will be best served by our working in partnership with others.

  1. " To initiate, develop and support communities and help them provide relevant and excellent services to their members."

This statement represents the recognition that the most important role of the Executive Office is to support communities. The Executive Office of the US justifies its existence primarily by its ability to provide the support, expertise, accumulated understanding and guidance that allow communities to be more than they would be on their own. There is a clear linkage from the Executive Office to the community and on to the members who for the most part see themselves as connected to their local shul and not to the US. There is also an acknowledgement of the need to be proactive in dealing with community matters especially in the early stages of planning - and then to step back to a supportive role.

Charity law requires that, as we are currently constituted, the Trustees of the US (the elected Honorary Officers - President, 3 vice Presidents and 3 Treasurers) are ultimately responsible for all US matters and this sets limitations to the independence of communities.

  1. "To provide the infrastructure for Jewish religious life."

The United Synagogue has a long and proud history of ensuring that its members and the community beyond benefit from a religious infrastructure that no individual community could provide on its own. This means that the US provides access to Kashrut services, a Day School infrastructure, the London Beth Din, a fully developed burial service and so on. We are also the major supporter of the Office of the Chief Rabbi

  1. "To develop creative programmes which involve members and potential members in Jewish life and values."

We have to recognise the reality that for the United Synagogue to flourish it must help reconnect people to Jewish life and practice. Local communities are not the only place that this happens Our mission makes it clear that the US will take responsibility for selective programmes designed to bring members into positive contact with our values in the belief that they will become inspired to become more committed Jews.

  1. " To recruit, develop and maintain outstanding Rabbis and other professional staff, Lay leaders and volunteers."
The most significant and important asset of the United Synagogue is the people associated with it. We can only succeed by ensuring that our Rabbis, our staff and our volunteers are suitably qualified, trained and motivated.