Temple Beth Sholom Connection to the URJ

Temple Beth Sholom (TBS) is a part of the Reform Movement through the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) actively participates in many URJ programs and services. Nearly 900 congregations in the United States and Canada are a part of the URJ.

The URJ provides a broad and deep array of programs and services to its congregations and their members, focusing resources on accomplishing what no individual congregation or person could do individually.  The  URJ 2020 Vision focuses on several priorities: strengthening congregations; providing audacious hospitality and welcoming all who are interested in living a richer Jewish life; tikkun olam; and youth engagement.  Through these initiatives it works with, supports, and connects congregations to be strong, adept, and agile. The URJ welcomes all who seek to participate in creating a world of wholeness, compassion, and justice. It inspires and motivates more young Jews to connect to Judaism and fosters meaningful connections to Israel. Together with such partners as the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the National Association of Temple Administrators (NATA), Women of Reform Judaism(WRJ), Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ), among others, the URJ builds these connections by providing access to a plethora of advocacy opportunities and programmatic, educational, youth, professional, and leadership development.

Temple Beth Sholom URJ Leadership Roles

Names are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Mark Baranek (TBS Director of Congregational Engagement), Barbara Gelber and Danny Aronson (TBS congregants) are Camp Coleman Committee members
  • Michael Dribin (TBS Past President) is on the URJ Board alumni
  • Rabbi Glickstein is a past Treasurer and Board member, Central Conference of American Rabbis
  • Shelley Niceley Groff (TBS Past President) serves on the North American Board of the URJ, the Board of Women of Reform Judaism, URJ Board Oversight Committee, Budget Committee, Camp Coleman Committee, Lay Leader for Youth,  and works closely with the URJ’s Vice President for Youth on the Campaign for Youth Engagement
  • Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz serves on the Commission for Social Action, which guides the activities of the Religious Action Center
  • Cantor Segal  is a past board member of the American Conference of Cantors. She was co-chair of the 2015 ACC Convention, and currently serves on the ACC Youth Committee
  • Barb Shimansky is affiliated with Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE). She was the co-chair of the 2014 ARJE Kallah, a past co-chair of the Member Connections committee, and is the current co-team leader of Member Relations.
  • Michael Spritzer (congregant) is on the URJ Board alumni
  • Karen Rivo (TBS Past President) serves on the North American Board of the URJ, the URJ Israel and Reform Zionist Committee, and the 2020     URJ World Zionist Congress Leadership Cabinet.

Get Involved. Learn More.

  • The Knowledge Network of the URJ provides resources and support to professional and lay congregational leadership. This includes consulting, webinars, conferences, and workshops on issues of import to the congregation. A few examples are the Scheidt seminar for sitting and incoming congregation presidents, songleading, education, and the Youth Summit.
  • The URJ Transition Management team provides assistance with clergy transition and search support. The Rabbi Search Committee is working with this team in connection with the upcoming senior rabbi transition.  
  • The URJ provides publications and online resources on subject of import to congregations.  Members of our congregation begin their day with 10 Minutes of Torah, receive action alerts and issue briefings from the RAC, read the Journal of Youth Engagement and others.
  • Members of our congregation and community becoming Jews by choice participate in the Introduction to Judaism program, and our clergy serve as faculty. The goal of URJ’s Introduction to Judaism program is to empower seekers – individuals and couples – to explore Judaism. Weekly classes are augmented by Shabbat programs and additional experiential components.
  • Every year, our children and teens spend summers at URJ Camps (including Camp Coleman and specialty camps), and during the year participate in regional youth group gatherings, North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), where they learn and connect with other youth from the wider Jewish community.  They travel to Israel with NFTY Israel with teens from throughout North America.  Many of them return to Camp Coleman as staff, where they hone their leadership skills and serve as role models to others.
  • Several of our teens attended the annual NFTY Convention, and two were featured on the program.
  • Members of our clergy team and staff spend time as visiting faculty at URJ camps or chaperone NFTY events and Israel trips.
  • Every year, our teens participate in the L’Taken Social Justice Seminar in Washington ,D.C., through which they receive advocacy training by the RAC and meet with elected officials to advocate for issues that are important to them.

Camp Coleman Committee (TBS Members)

  • Danny Aronson
  • Mark Baranek
  • Barbara Gelber
  • Shelley Niceley Groff