In his book, “Becoming a Jewish Parent,” (Harmony, 1999, $24) Daniel Gordis suggests several questions to ask and steps to take to find a community to join. While you may not find everything you want in one place, you might just find what you need:
Am I looking for a faith community, a place to do spiritual searching? Friends my age, from my part of town? A focus on social action?
Does the meeting place have to be physically beautiful? Do the service and prayers have to be aesthetically pleasing? Is singing important?
Do I need an early childhood program, a youth group, a day school?
Do I want a religious head that is a well-known figure? Am I willing to accept a large congregation where I may not know the leader personally? Or do I want an intimate setting where I can build a closer relationship? What are the trade-offs in choosing a large vs. small group?
Ask other people where they go for spiritual support and why.
Interview the head of the congregation
Look at the master calendar and see what kinds of activities are planned.
Observe the religious classes.
Go to a service.