June 2014 - The Website
Several years ago, I attended an educator’s conference at which Dr. Ron Wolfson, an important voice in affective Jewish education, delivered the keynote address. Dr. Wolfson spoke about the importance of people over programs in synagogue life. “Synagogues should be about people first, programs to meet the needs of those people second, and buildings and budgets to support the programs third. But your synagogue websites belie this priority. In anticipation of my being here this morning, I perused all your websites,” he continued. “All but one has a picture of your synagogue building. Let me assure you, no one looking for a congregation joins a building.”
Two years later, volunteers Peter Scherr, Matt Harris and Brian Lefkowitz, have helped produce a website inspired by Dr. Wolfson, which reflects who we truly are. The ever-dynamic photo gallery pictures PEOPLE of all ages engaged in a wide range of activities only some of which take place within our synagogue building. The website illustrates a community that embodies the Reconstructionist principle that Jewish expression extends beyond religious ritual and practice to include acts of social justice, opportunities for learning, celebration of holidays, of communal retreat, and of generations together.
In 1964, Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase, “The medium is the message.” Our new synagogue website certainly proves the power of that phrase. It pictures a Jewish community unrestrained by walls embracing the all of Jewish life.
With appreciation to Peter, Matt and Brian, and in celebration of their efforts,
I am, as always, warmly, Lee