Jim Kales, CEO of Aspire, one of the nation’s most innovative and dynamic disability non-profits, will share powerful insights and practical tools you can use to innovate in your synagogue. When you see your constraints not as obstacles but as a path to abundance, you’ll unleash creative thinking and uncover the full potential of your community.
Kales will share his personal journey since becoming the CEO of Aspire more than a decade ago. When he stepped into the CEO role, Aspire was nearly bankrupt and struggled to meet payroll. Even worse, Aspire received 95% of its funding from the State of Illinois—which has one of the nation’s lowest funding levels for disability services. But against these odds, Kales worked with his Board, staff team and volunteers to find new sources of incredible abundance.
Kales will also share insights from one of his guiding books, A Beautiful Constraint. This book uncovers a new methodology for helping organizations to unleash innovation, by seeing constraints as beautiful sources of opportunity.
In this session you will learn:
We will wrap the session with a powerful case study of a fictional, financially troubled, synagogue. We’ll break into groups and help this synagogue create a bold path forward.
Resilience is about far more than “bouncing back”. Resilience is about strengthening your ability to navigate future challenges, identify unexpected opportunities, and adapt in the face of change— arguably some of the most essential skills for synagogue leaders managing the daily operations and ever-changing needs of a congregation. Fortunately, resilience isn’t a static personality trait, but rather something you can develop with awareness and practice. In this session, you will learn:
The most effective leaders both model resilience and foster it in others. This is particularly critical for synagogue leaders who must manage competing demands in a constantly changing environment while also ensuring that their staff and congregation are positioned to adapt, evolve, and thrive. In this session, designed specifically for those who lead others, you will learn:
While much of Jewish life was initially designed to build character and community among its followers, the last 75 years of American Jewish life have strayed from these aspirational roots, with greater emphasis on programs and services than on formation and connection. And with the volatility presented by the ongoing pandemic, many of the trends in American Jewish life (disaffiliation, startup communities, and shifting observance patterns) have accelerated - posing what seems like a threat to the business model of our synagogue communities.
What if we imagined these shifts as our ancestors once did - not as threats to our existence, but opportunities to reimagine Jewish life for ourselves and our descendants? In this interactive workshop, we'll learn why this moment is one of unprecedented opportunity, and offers ample reason for unbridled optimism. Believe it or not, Jewish life has been here before, and we emerged stronger, more connected, and more vibrant than ever.
Together, we'll explore: