Independent Concierge Clergy
Since COVID, fewer Jewish families are feeling the need to be a part of a "brick and mortar" synagogue. Something called "Concierge Judaism" is becoming very popular. The truth is -- the largest denomination of Jews in America are the unaffiliated or as a colleague of mine likes to call them -- "Self Directed Jews." These are Jews who are looking for Judaism on their own terms. They want their Jewish experiences to be personal and meaningful...not cookie-cutter. This is what Concierge Judaism offers - Rabbis and Cantors who listen and hear the needs of each individual family. We are here to help you find meaning in being Jewish. We are here to help you celebrate in joy and grieve in sadness. And, we help you do it YOUR way with our guidance and expertise.
I have always prided myself on being a good listener - a compassionate listener. I listen and I try to meet people where they are. I craft lifecycle events and worship experiences that are personal, meaningful, inspiring, and uplifting. Through years of study and experience, I am able to bring a wealth of resources and creative thought to the table.
In years to come, I think we will see an upswing in "Concierge Judaism." People don't want to live by the rules of a synagogue board. They want more freedom to think outside the box and plan special Jewish events around their particular needs. Rabbis and Cantors who offer these services are not employed by congregations. They don't have benefits or a retirement plan. They are independent "freelancers." And, as such, they need to be compensated for their time and talents.
Independent Concierge Clergy are happy to offer classes, officiate at lifecycle events and counsel people, but in order to continue to offer these things, they need to be compensated. Standards have been set in the Jewish world for most fees. There are standard fees for weddings, funerals, unveilings and other life-cycle events. There are typical fees for teaching and tutoring and counseling. Much of this is regulated by Rabbinical Boards and I hold to these standards with what I charge. The world of Independent Concierge Rabbis and Cantors is new. No synagogue is paying them a salary. They are paid by each client for the services they offer.
The future of Concierge Clergy services is upon us. I embrace it and look forward to being with you in your joy and in your sadness guiding you along a path to meaningful encounters with all that is spiritual and holy. If I can serve you as clergy, please reach out to me.
copyright, Judy Caplan Ginsburgh, August, 2023