Relational Judaism Handbook

How to Create a Relational Engagement Campaign
to Build and Deepen Relationships in Your Community


More than smiles and chavurot, learn why this groundbreaking work is truly transformative for communities.


Scholar in Residence Visits, Workshops, and Consulting Services


Explore the wealth of resources and information that expands the learning and guidance of the book.


Experts, practitioners, & thought-leaders with decades of experience.

Dr. Ron Wolfson

Fingerhut Professor of Education

American Jewish University

Rabbi Nicole Auerbach

Director of Congregational Engagement

Central Synagogue, NY, NY

Rabbi Lydia Medwin

Director of Engagment and Outreach

The Temple, Atlanta, GA


Don’t take our word for it – here’s what others had to say:

We’ve waited for a book like this for a long time — and here it is at last. Small groups are the cutting edge of synagogue success and this book is the cutting edge of the cutting edge — the state of the art as we know it.

Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD

Co-founder of Synagogue 2000

This book is fresh, crisp, and a practical guide for transforming Jewish communities.  It is exactly what is needed at this time to revitalize American Jewish communities including synagogues, Hillels, JCCs, and more.  This book will guide us into the future and the next phase of vibrant Jewish life.

Stuart Matlins

Former Publisher, Jewish Lights

Provides a clear, compelling roadmap for how we create transformative Jewish communities, built on relationships. Both a practical, step-by-step guidebook and an inspirational vision of the future, this book should be required reading for everyone engaged in building Jewish life.

Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl

Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, NY, NY

With this new book, Ron Wolfson, Rabbi Lydia Medwin, and Rabbi Nicole Auerbach give us so many of the tools and practices we need to build the kind of communities we just can’t live without… The authors are master practitioners themselves so they don’t get stuck in lofty theoretical reflections on the state of Jewish life. Rather, they take us by the hand and walk us into a more engaging, enduring, and compelling Jewish future.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

President, Union for Reform Judaism

Ron Wolfson has been decades ahead of the curve advancing a conversation on the relational nature of our communities. Now, with Rabbi Nicole Auerbach and Rabbi Lydia Medwin, both deeply involved in creating and implementing relational communities, they challenge us to think not of what is, but of what must be if our organizations and institutions are to survive in a new cultural and social reality.

Rabbi Sharon Brous

IKAR, Los Angeles, CA

It is Ron Wolfson’s genius to grasp that what the contemporary synagogue needs is not a set of technical adjustments—not a menu of new programming—but rather transformational change, a revolution in the synagogue’s mission, structure, and operation… Rabbi Nicole Auerbach and Rabbi Lydia Medwin, coauthors with Ron, attest to the energy generated when a synagogue turns to small groups as its organizing principle.

Rabbi Ed Feinstein

Senior Rabbi, Valley Beth Shalom

Encino, California

A dazzling array of fail-proof methods on how to engage people through personal relationships, strong shared experiences and community leadership interactions. The book includes the secrets of some of the most consumer attractive businesses in the world which are translated into Jewish community building techniques. The processes outlined here are not only exciting; they actually work. Use this handbook to rebuild the vitality of American Jewry: the community you save may be your own.

Yitz and Blu Greenberg

 Wexner Foundation

…at a time when new ideas are desperately needed, this complementary Handbook to [the] important book, Relational Judaism, is filled with examples of how congregations have built relational communities. Starting with the simple but profound principle that Judaism must start by putting people before programs, this new book is the guide to creating a true Beit Knesset, a House of Meeting.

Rabbi Sid Schwarz

Senior Fellow, Hazon;

Author, Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews can Transform

Synagogue professionals and lay leadership are on a quest to help their communities find greater purpose and meaning, and this remarkable book is an invaluable roadmap towards a holistic approach, to do so through the power of relational Judaism and small groups engagement. For those of us working with congregations or in congregations, this book provides the tools we need to deepen the lives of so many in a straightforward, easy to follow, and concise style.

Livia D. Thompson

Synagogue Consultant & Past-President, National Association for Temple Administration

A must-read primer for those of us who think deeply about institutional transformation. The Relational Judaism Handbook is the long awaited playbook giving us the tools we need to champion the art of deepening relationships in our communities. Read this book- and learn from our most discerning teachers.

Rabbi Peter Berg

Senior Rabbi, The Temple, Atlanta, GA

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