02 Mar

Six Synagogues – An Oversimplified Lay of the Land

I spend a lot of time in the synagogue space. A colleague asked me for a overview of what I am seeing the most. Here are 6 oversimplified, overgeneralized archetypes in the non-Orthodox landscape:

  1. Shiny Synagogue – Growing population, strong physical presence, professionalized delivery of programs and services
  2. Legacy Synagogue – Aging physical presence and declining or net neutral population but still delivering full programs and offerings, often have endowment or significant donor base
  3. Collaborative Synagogue – Changing demographics and notion of belonging have caused this organization to share resources, offer joint programming and ultimately  will merge or consolidate
  4.  Ghost Synagogue –  Synagogue is empty vast majority of the time, minimal programs, budget cuts have led to reduced clergy and staff, running down the clock
  5. Right Sized Synagogue –Sold their big building and down-sized to fit current membership or developed earned revenue stream by building housing on or renting out some of its original space
  6. Entrepreneurial Spiritual Community– Unimpressive (or no permanent) physical space but growing population, strong energy

Is there a major category that I am missing?

Which one are you?

Which one do you want to be?

How can you get there?


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