Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

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.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.