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Local Rabbi Selected to National Outreach Initiative

Rabbi Emma Gottlieb joins the Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates to better serve less-engaged Jews.

Rabbi Emma Gottlieb. Courtesy Photo
Rabbi Emma Gottlieb. Courtesy Photo

Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI) has announced that Rabbi Emma Gottlieb has successfully completed the training to become a member of the sixth North American Cohort of Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates. 

Gottlieb will be working with the staff of Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute to open the tent of the Canton, MA, Jewish community through outreach training and Public Space JudaismSM programming, which is the methodology of taking Jewish programming outside the four walls of institutions and out to where people are in public secular spaces, such as “Passover in the Matzah Aisle” and “Hands-on Hanukkah” in shopping malls to foster relationships, share what the community has to offer, and learn about their interests and needs. At any given time, the majority of Jewish households are not engaging with the organized Jewish community, and Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates seek to demonstrate to the unaffiliated the meaning and value in participation.

Rabbi Emma Gottlieb is the spiritual and educational leader at Temple Beth David (TBD) of the South Shore, in Canton. Gottlieb has led the congregation in re-visioning our Religious and Hebrew schools and our worship structures. She believes strongly in building Jewish community on a foundation of relationships and meaning and she works hard with the TBD leadership to make sure that Temple Beth David is a community that is welcoming to all kinds of Jewish families. She grew up in Toronto, Canada, but feels very at home in the Boston area.

The Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates program, which began in the Spring of 2012, is a training series and collaborative network for Jewish communal professionals who want to "expand the tent" of the organized Jewish community by reaching and serving less-engaged Jews including unaffiliated intermarried families. The program provides free, exclusive education on proven outreach best practices; one-on-one coaching; peer support; program implementation guidance; and program evaluation assistance. The program works to achieve measurable impact by tracking agreed-upon numeric benchmarks with each Professional Affiliate, working with them to not just find the less-engaged in their communities, but to create lasting relationships that lead to deeper engagement.

Executive Director Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky looks forward to the expansion of the program as JOI nears 200 Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates. “We are equipping these communal professionals on the front line with the best of best outreach practices. They are key to the future growth of the community and we are proud to have them on our team.”

Gottlieb began her Big Tent Judaism Professional Affiliates training in late January, and will work with local professionals, as well as staff and lay leadership at Temple Beth David to implement Public Space Judaism programs and create relationships with newcomers to the community to foster future engagement.


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