Rabbi Victor Appell is a Marketing, Outreach and New Communities Specialistfor the Congregational Consulting Group. In the area of Marketing, he provides support to congregations that are developing marketing plans and seeking to better communicate with both current and potential members. Some of the areas in which Victor consults with congregations are developing a coordinated approach to communication; designing websites; updating and coordinating printed materials; creating electronic newsletters; and using social media.
In the area of Outreach, Rabbi Appell works with congregations to help them create a welcoming atmosphere for all. As part of the Outreach Specialist team, Victor consults in the areas of encouraging conversion, programming for interfaith couples and families and welcoming the increasingly diverse Jewish population into our congregations.
In his work with new communities, Rabbi Appell directs the process by which congregations affiliate with the Union. He also works with the Union's effort to create meaningful Jewish communities beyond the synagogue setting.
Rabbi Appell, a native New Yorker, grew up in the Reform Movement. In high school, he served as a regional NFTY president and spent three summers on the staff of Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA.
As an adult, Rabbi Appell enjoyed a decade long career in sales and marketing. Specializing in licensed apparel, Victor worked in the areas of product design and merchandising, marketing and sales training. After deciding to pursue a life-long dream of becoming a rabbi, Rabbi Appell was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1999. For four years he served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, IL. For two years, he served Temple Emanu-El in Edison, New Jersey. In July of 2005 Rabbi Appell joined the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism and served as the Director of Small Congregations and Co-Director of the Joint Commission on Synagogue Management.
Rabbi Appell is the author of the "Think Small" sections in the Union's materials designed for synagogue leaders. His writings have appeared in Achim Magazine, Torat Chayim, Ten Minutes of Torah, Kulanu Handbook, The Gender Gap, and The Still Small Voice - Reflections on Being a Jewish Man.