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Lay Leadership/Staff

One sign of effective congregational leadership and governance can be seen in the quality of the relationship between the lay leadership and the professional and non-professional staff. Identifying what is needed in the congregational system, the best person(s) to address the need, and how they will be supported is a method for developing a healthy congregational life. This method helps to avoid fault/blame scenarios and lack of realizing the community's sacred mission.

The number and complexity of staff members and whether or not they are full time is dependent upon the size of the synagogue and the complexity of its programs. The number of staff members is also dependent on the level of volunteer participation in the synagogue system. Compensation for all staff members should be determined by the wage rate in the general employment market, the compensation for offered by other Jewish organizations in the area, and the general standards suggested by JRF. The board should establish an overall philosophy with rages to wages, making sure to take into consideration Jewish values and teachings in their decision-making process.

Also consider:
  • The balance of power between the lay leadership and the professional staff

  • The importance of professional support staff confidentiality and discretion

  • Methods for better communication between lay leadership and staff

  • Professional job descriptions: their uses and importance

  • How to incorporate Jewish values into the management of professional staff, non-professional staff and volunteers

  • The role of the rabbi in the congregation

  • The role of the executive director and other paid staff

  • How to deal with conflict between staff and lay leadership
Type: How to

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