It’s hard to believe, but the High Holidays are just around the corner. Not only is it a busy time at your shul, but it’s also a busy time for your website. Without question, your website will experience a surge in visitors over the next few weeks. Traffic to your site will soar as prospective and current members stop by to learn about services, purchase tickets and get a sense of how your congregation observes the holidays.
1.Build a Designated High Holiday Section on Your Website:
Your website should serve as a hub for all things High Holiday. Include details on service times, volunteer opportunities, children’s events, and other special gatherings. This section should be easily accessible and simple to find via the homepage or menu navigation. Visit North Shore Suburban Synagogue, Stephen Wise Temple, and Adat Shalom to see examples of how you can use your website to communicate key High Holiday information.
2. Go Beyond Service Times and Location: People need to know the basics of an event- where it’s happening and what time – but they also want to know what to expect. A concise summary supplementing each event helps to generate interest and enthusiasm. Check out Romemu’s family programming page to see why program descriptions are such a good idea.
3. Encourage Online Registration: Online registration makes it easy for your members to participate. The days of people printing and completing forms by hand are rapidly coming to a close. Online forms bring a level of modern convenience that many of your members have come to expect. You can build out forms for babysitting, Yahrzeit plaques, memorial books, youth programming and more. And, if your synagogue requires tickets for services, you can create those too. Check out Adat Shalom’s website to get a sense of how online registration plays a role in their High Holiday planning.
4. Welcome Non-Members: Visit Congregation Beth Israel to see how a congregation can use their website to welcome guests at their High Holy Day services. By having a dedicated page devoted to non-members, the congregation excels at detailing how non-members can get involved.
5. Share Information About Accommodations and Other Accessibility Needs: Let your members know how your congregation facilitates an inclusive High Holiday experience. For example, Oseh Shalom reminds participants that they are able to request assisted listening devices or attend ASL interpreted service.
6. High Holiday Videos: An exciting trend that we’ve been seeing more of is the creation of videos inviting viewers to join the congregation in celebrating the upcoming holy days. Often these short videos are led by the Rabbi and are a dynamic way to engage prospective members. Visit Congregation Beth Hatikvah and Temple De Sinai Hirsch to see two exemplary examples in action.
The High Holy Days are nearly here and we encourage you to use your website as a key communication tool. After all, flyers get lost, emails can be overlooked, and print mailings get recycled, but your website remains an easily accessible resource. In the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, we encourage you to continue to build out High Holiday content and to direct your members to visit your website.
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