A new website for the new year

January 7, 2020

Dear BJ Community,

2020 is more than just a year and the beginning of a new decade. It is also the designation of correct vision. 

We’re proud and excited, after many months of research, planning, designing, and adapting, to share our all-new website and graphic identity. Together we hope these new tools make clear and accessible BJ’s vision of an inclusive and expansive Judaism, and of a welcoming, diverse, and dynamic community. 

Welcome to the new bj.org! 

Why this? Why now?

Since 1985, the revived B’nai Jeshurun community, led by our rabbis, has been positioned at the forefront of Jewish ritual, community-building, education, and social action. While our work reframed Jewish life in New York and beyond, our website has taken a back seat to real-time evolution and progress.

The need to refresh our communications was identified in the 2015 strategic plan, which has so well guided BJ’s programmatic evolution and operational growth over the past few years.

When we set out to update the BJ website, our goals were clear:

  • To communicate the powerful BJ story to diverse audiences within and beyond our membership
  • To deliver learning, information, and engagement opportunities to website visitors easily and intuitively
  • To refresh the BJ brand with an updated visual look and feel that captures the excitement of our dynamic congregation while acknowledging our meaningful history in New York Jewish life. This included an opportunity to update BJ’s logo as well as the brand colors and graphics.

How you helped us build a new communications platform for BJ

We could not have accomplished the complex task of revitalizing our online presence without the help of many of you.

Through extensive research in 2018, we collected hundreds of surveys and interviewed dozens of BJ members spanning the age, lifecycle, geographic, social, and socio-economic diversity of our community.

Through this research, you described BJ as:

  • Spiritual and inspiring
  • An inclusive and warm community
  • Progressive and innovative

You identified our core values as:

  • Transformational
  • Inclusive
  • Traditional and progressive

Using these qualities as a guide, Topos Graphics, led by Israeli designer Roy Rub and American, Seth Labenz, developed a fresh and elegant graphic identity that also evokes tradition through the Rose Window reference of our historic sanctuary and graphic cues from Hebrew typography. 

Working with 829 Studios, a Boston-based boutique firm who have built dozens of websites for Jewish communal organizations, we created the website architecture to support the daily users’ pragmatic needs (who, what, when, and where?), while also inviting joyful exploration of BJ’s programming and robust storytelling. 

Our new site also improved and simplified a visitor’s journey, and includes a user-friendly calendar and beautiful photography.  

As our site navigation is all-new, please use this handy where-to-find-it reference.

Please know that this work is the result of substantial strategic research, and the collective, collaborative wisdom drawn from outside professionals, the BJ clergy, senior staff, and lay leadership. As such, we welcome your respectful, constructive feedback at website@bj.org.

Giving Thanks

Lastly, I wish to recognize the incredible efforts of Communications Manager Lisa Shillan, and Communications Associate Joshua Klafter, who delivered this new website alongside their very busy ‘day jobs’ of supporting all BJ communications. I’d also like to thank Joshua Nodiff, who worked with the communications team to bring this website to fruition. And I am grateful to the project leadership of Advancement Director Amanda Greenawalt, who launched this initiative in her early months on the job.

Where to find it

Calendar When & How, top menu bar
Membership Essential Links
Giving Top menu bar and footer
Livestream Top menu bar
Service Schedule Homepage button; Prayer, Music, & Spirituality
Family Life & Learning Essential Links; Learning, Growth, & Families
Kadima@BJ (Hebrew School) Essential Links; Learning, Growth, & Families
Adult Learning Essential Links; Learning, Growth, & Families
Daily Minyan Prayer, Music, & Spirituality
Shabbat Prayer, Music, & Spirituality