Aaron Spiegel

Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, D.Min.

Aaron was a founding director of the Center for Congregations, and architect and director of the Congregational Resource Guide. As a trans-denominational rabbi, his focus is helping congregations, nonprofits, and socially minded businesses implement high availability strategic plans. Aaron is currently leading the Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance, Inc. (GIMA), organizers of the religious community to advocate for affordable housing and ending of the evictions crisis in Indianapolis. After acting as Interim Executive Director, he is now a Senior Consultant for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC). Aaron is also the President of the Synagogue Studies Institute, collecting and interpreting data about synagogues for the American congregational landscape.

Aaron is an experienced leader and strategic planner in IT, nonprofit management, and digital marketing, as well as a consultant, published author, and seasoned public speaker.

Work Experience

Executive Director, Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance (GIMA), 2022
Nonprofit startup working to organize the faith community of Greater Indianapolis towards housing advocacy.

Interim Executive Director, Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council 2022
Intentional interim ED leading the organization through its transition from a long-tenured ED to its next leader.

Director, Information Technology, The CRG, 1998-2021
Center for Congregations, Indianapolis, Indiana
Direct the Center’s communications and technology initiatives, including the Congregational Resource Guide (CRG).
The Congregational Resource Guide, 2015-2021
Direct design and development of an online application, making the Center’s curated database, representing 20 years of institutional resource knowledge, available to a worldwide audience.
Multi-site office coordination and culture, 2004-2021
Open satellite offices, keeping each as technologically simple as possible with Indianapolis as the hub.
Design and Develop Case Management System, 1999-2021
Center needed a relational system of tracking cases that included organization, related organizational team, resource recommendations and feedback, workshop attendance by topic, and grant tracking for staff of non-technical users.
Grant and Course development, 2001-2004
Developed a course-series and grant program entitled “Computers and Ministry: Making Technology Work for Your Congregation” which resulted in publication of the book (with co-authors Nancy Armstrong and Brent Bill)

President, 2016-present
Synagogue Studies Institute, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Spun off research and intellectual property of Synagogue 3000 (sunset 2015) to maintain access to the research knowledge website. Maintain participation in Faith Communities Today national research project. Data provider for Religious Congregations Membership Study 2020 (RCMS)

Board Chair/CEO, 2006-2013
Synagogue 3000, New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis
Guided organizational transition from founder-based to board-centric. Developed and led bi-coastal staff, led development of research initiative, developed and managed grants for pilot city projects.
Synagogue survey agent, 2001-present
Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership/Faith Communities Today (CCSP/FACT)

Skills

  • Intersection of technology and social sciences for nonprofits and religion
  • Translator between the tech world and organizations, Forbes article
  • Synagogues in the congregation landscape
  • Technology planning for organizations, Forbes article
  • Technology policy for nonprofits and congregations
  • Knowledge management, data curation
  • Process assessment in order to match technology tools to existing processes, Forbes article
  • Experienced Leader, Builds strong relationships, fosters trust, collaboration, and high performance. Innovates, sets vision and motivates others. Remains a positive, peaceful presence in the workplace and in difficult situations.
  • Strategic Planner, Solves complex problems, builds networks, and collaborates to determine the best path forward. Sets strategic initiatives, including long- and short-term goals, creates and manages annual budgets, and develops evaluation frameworks. Fosters cross-function alignment within the organization. 
  • IT Professional, 35+ years of experience directing technology initiatives, leading IT staff and vendors, translating user needs into solutions. 
  • Outstanding Communicator, Exceptional communication skills; able to write, speak, present clearly. Listens to and embraces input from others.
  • Values-driven, Demonstrated commitment to ethical work and interactions, the community, equality, and inclusiveness

Education
Hartford International University, D.Min., Congregational Studies, 2013
Mesiftah Adath Wolkowisk, Rabbinics, 1995
Union Institute & University, BA, Comparative Theology, 1992

Affiliations

  • Forbes Technology Council Member 2020, an invitation-only community of leading CIOs, CTOs, and technology executives
  • Bike Transit Indy, Co-founder, advocacy for people who commute and travel by bike
  • Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance (GIMA), board co-chair, steering committee for civic projects serving the common good. 
  • Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership/Faith Communities Today, steering committee
  • Butler University, campus rabbi, 2003 – 2013
  • Indiana Board of Rabbis, member, past President
  • SCCA, NASA racing competition license

Publications