ECE's Vision and Mission - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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ECE's Vision and Mission

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The ECE was founded on the belief that learning is the most effective pathway towards transforming congregations from membership service organizations into "communities of meaning," in which members are involved and engaged with Jewish living and learning and with one another. The ECE was founded on the principles that:

  • Learning leads to a deepening of Jewish commitment and expanding Jewish practice.
  • Learning contributes to the creation of a strong sense of community.
  • Learning develops a synagogue's capacity to be self-renewing.

ECE strives to help congregations discover how learning can revitalize their synagogue communities through a tested and proven multi-stage process of working toward becoming both:

  • Congregations of Learners — where members of a congregation have a common understanding that Jewish learning is for everyone, and where they experience a range of engaging and stimulating opportunities for learning; and
  • Self-Renewing Congregations — with increased capacity to be proactive, deliberative, and reflective, to experiment continually, and to practice collaborative leadership among lay and professional leaders.

In ECE congregations, adults, children and families are learning in a variety of new and exciting ways, not confined to the classroom setting. Learners are teaching, teachers are learning, and all activities — meetings, worship, social action, and social events — now include learning. Through authentic Jewish learning, these communities have been revitalized and transformed. 

The ECE is a multi-denominational project, based at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. It respects the movement affiliations and ideologies of its participant congregations, which have come from all the Jewish Movements.