A Campaign to Expand Our Clergy Team

Rabbi Soffer at the Bima

Behind every transformative moment in Jewish history is Rabbinic leadership. The unique role of the Rabbi is to bring our sacred texts to life and teach us why and how we can extend our understanding of and connection to our tradition in our contemporary context. At this moment,  Judea Reform Congregation has a tremendous opportunity to make transformational contributions to our members, friends, and neighbors by expanding our clergy from one to two.

Congregations with Clergy Teams provide deeper and more nourishing experiences in every facet of communal engagement, whether it is within the walls of the synagogue, meeting members where they reside, or being a Jewish voice in the region. With an additional Rabbi, clergy touch points will substantially increase to cover a more diverse range of demographics and needs. Please join us in our effort to grow!

A successful campaign will enable Judea Reform Congregation to provide strong, steady, and transformative Rabbinic leadership for generations to come.


Faith communities are on the frontlines of all human struggles. Judea Reform Congregation is a home for compassionate spiritual and pastoral care. Our Rabbis visit the sick, counsel the aging, and support those experiencing mental anguish and loneliness. With expanded Clergy Team resources, we will be able to go beyond situational needs for pastoral care to create community-wide clergy support for congregants through personal relationships, programmatic enhancement, prayer, and education.

Rabbi and Noah Raney in front of Torah Scroll
Educational staff on bima with family


Judea Reform Congregation is immersed in a culture that advances important ideas. Our clergy engagement is centered around lifecycle events and Religious School. We want to expand clergy engagement to more frequently connect with students, at all levels, and grow lifelong learners. This investment in our Clergy Team ensures that Judea Reform continues to be an invigorating intersection where the wisdom of the Torah comes to life to be relevant to our modern lives and where our students, of all ages, connect and learn with our clergy.


Today, Judea Reform Congregation provides meaningful Reform Jewish worship experiences for Shabbat and holidays in our building and online. With increasingly diverse spiritual needs and modalities of worship and prayer, an expanded Clergy Team will ensure our spiritual opportunities are relevant, engaging, and dynamic. Judea Reform Congregation will provide a wider range of both innovative and traditional modes of spiritual and religious life, meeting people where they are spiritually and physically, including building bridges with Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

Judea Reform Voting Activists


In this particularly fractured time in American life, faith communities are uniquely situated as bridge-builders across wide divides. Judea Reform Congregation has a long history of community-wide engagement with communities of faith across the religious spectrum. Our clergy are at the center of this important work. The reality of growing antisemitism and group-hatred in these times requires the Jewish community to invest in deepening our relationships with faith communities and coalitions of shared values. An expanded Clergy Team will allow us to establish stronger public relationships, rooted in authentic friendships between communities of conscience and continue our commitment to social justice.

When Jewish people flourish, their values – tzedakah, kavod, achrayut and tikkun olam – are elevated and our communities are strengthened.

A Plan for the Future

The greater Durham and Chapel Hill area is experiencing tremendous growth, with an expected 1,000 additional Jewish families moving here in the coming years. We have an obligation to meet our community’s growing needs, and to recognize and seize the opportunities knocking on our door. Our mission calls upon us to be a place of welcome and Jewish life for those living in the Triangle area. In order to meet our mission and “meet the moment” we must lay the foundation to expand our Rabbinic Team now.

Long-term Clergy Team

For more than a decade, the leadership of Judea Reform Congregation has recognized the need for and value of an expanded Clergy Team. During a brief and singular time in our congregation’s history, 2008–2014, Judea Reform benefited from an Assistant Rabbi. During these five years, through Rabbinic leadership, our members experienced a deeper connection to Judaism. It is time to commit to this model with a financially stable strategic plan. The success of this campaign will responsibly move us from temporary clergy (Rabbi-in-Residence, prior Assistant Clergy) to a long-term Clergy Team that meets the needs of Judea Reform Congregation and the Jewish community far into the future.

Young families are pouring in, and the grandparents are coming with them.  That means we have to be present, for every stage of their life.
Rabbi Soffer

Financial Goals and Plans

We have a carefully constructed financial plan in place that includes building an endowment to sustain an expanded Clergy Team. There are two ways to contribute to this exciting expansion: the Judea Reform Congregation Clergy Team Endowment or the Clergy Team Special Fund. Congregational leaders have created a Financial Oversight Committee to ensure that expenditures are sustainable over the long-term and that we are responsible stewards of your gift.

“Young families are pouring in, and the grandparents are coming with them.  That means we have to be present, for every stage of their life.”
Rabbi Soffer

“Every individual is a pillar on which the future of Judaism rests.”

– Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel