Conservative Movement Enacts New Bylaws

The Conservative movement’s synagogue umbrella group approved new bylaws aimed at improving its governance.

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism adopted new bylaws Sunday that will reduce the size of its board of directors and place greater philanthropic demands on the board, according to a news release. The new bylaws also will increase the organization’s accountability and employ new metrics to measure its effectiveness.

“The vote is a major achievement in United Synagogue’s reorganization,” said Rabbi Steven Wernick, the group’s CEO and executive vice president. “It aligns new strategies with governance, staff and structures. Our leaders affirmed the wisdom of our mission, vision and strategic plan, our commitment to excellence and the value we add both to our affiliated kehillot and to the larger Jewish world.”

The bylaw changes come more than a year after the USCJ released a strategic plan in a bid to improve its effectiveness and shift its focus toward the serving of kehillot, or sacred communities.

More broadly, the plan was an effort to reverse the Conservative movement’s sagging fortunes. Once the country’s largest Jewish denomination, the movement has been overtaken in size by the Reform movement and bruised by divisive debates over the role of gays and lesbians. The USCJ has seen the number of its affiliated congregations drop in recent years from 800 to 650.

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Conservative Movement Enacts New Bylaws

Thank you!

This article has been sent!