Congregational Consulting Service

Synagogue professionals and experienced lay leaders helping congregations meet today’s diverse challenges


This focused consultancy program for affiliated kehillot across the Conservative Movement rests on the foundation established in the early 1980’s by NAASE’s PALS Program, through which consulting services were provided to synagogues in need of administrative guidance and review. The original program has given affiliated congregations access to the combined expertise and experience of hundreds of professional synagogue administrators throughout North America, typically assisting between 20 and 35 congregations each year.

The Congregational Consulting Service is a dynamic joint program of the North American Association of Synagogue Executives and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. It offers professional and lay help to synagogues that have a need to consult with someone knowledgable in the operation and functioning of today’s modern synagogue.

The CCS provides kehillot with an opportunity for a consultant to make recommendations based upon professional experience. The CCS consultant will present and explain productive steps leading to the accomplishment of significant congregational goals. Supportive resource materials will be made available, where feasible. Most such consultations begin with a telephone interview, or perhaps several calls including conference calls, where helpful. If the situation warrants it, a consultant will visit, learn as much as possible about the situation, and then will offer a written report.

While the CCS consultant will provide solution(s) within the synagogue’s system or structure, appropriate other options may be shared with the congregation, as well. Many of the CCS liaisons are twenty-plus year veterans of the field of synagogue management, who have developed skills that make their services highly sought after.

These areas of need most often occur in:

  • Membership
  • Finances
  • Property management
  • Fundraising
  • Organizational structure
  • Resource sharing
  • Technology
  • Programming
  • Development

The process is initiated by the president or other authorized officer of the kehillah needing assistance, by contacting the CSS office. A member of the Congregational Consulting Service will gladly answer your leadership’s questions about the scope of this program, and will assist you in determining how the CCS can best help you at this time. The consultation is absolutely free of charge to all USCJ-affiliated kehillot, although the consultant’s travel costs and expenses, if there are any, will be the synagogue’s responsibility.

And one last word . . .
One kehillah leader who benefitted from a CCS consultation noted, “It’s hard work running a synagogue, as presidents and other lay leaders soon learn. And no one is born knowing how to do all those things [ … ] but the CCS consultants are here to help us when we need it. Thank you!”