For any successful organization, including synagogues, there is no such thing as standing still.
Do you try to get 10,000 steps each day? When you set that as a goal and you make a conscious effort to reach that goal, it makes you do some things you wouldn’t have done otherwise; but, at the end of the day, you feel good about reaching the goal, and the goal itself serves the larger purpose of improving your health.
For any successful organization, including synagogues, there is no such thing as standing still. We are always moving and changing. If we don’t plan and we don’t direct our movement, we are simply drifting. But if we take stock of where we are and where we would like to be, then we can take action to move ourselves in the right direction. Having goals, as expressed in a strategic plan, makes it easier to determine and communicate what is going well, where the challenges are, and what is next for the congregation at large. It brings clarity about what are currently the most important issues for our congregants, clergy, professional staff, current and potential donors, and current and potential leaders. It also makes it easier for our Board to address questions such as: Where should we be prioritizing our valuable resources? Where are we now, compared to where we hope to be? What are some of the ways we can engage people in our most important issues? What is happening in our areas of future interest, and what do we need to learn about them?
I’m writing this column shortly after we finished a weekend-long workshop that completed the research phase of our strategic planning effort, Vision 2020. We reviewed not only what our research teams found and what you told us during the listening campaign early in 2018, but also what the congregation thought about the draft strategic plan that has come out of our research. More than 300 congregants responded to the survey that we sent out in January, and the results were very strongly positive. You believe that the priorities we are considering are the right ones, and you believe these will move us in the right direction. Our top strategic priorities include the need to develop ways to deepen engagement through new ways of creating meaningful relationships. This requires establishing and maintaining integrated, two-way communication among our professionals, lay leaders, and congregants. This will facilitate consideration of new models for financial support of the Temple to further strengthen our financial foundation. That stronger financial foundation will allow us to explore alternative, innovative spirituality paths for those who are interested, and many have expressed such an interest. All of this will be guided and monitored by our Board, in close partnership with our clergy and professional staff.
We are in the process of preparing a calendar to keep you apprised of when various topics will be discussed and when key votes will be taken. I will keep you posted on what is happening so that if you are interested in participating, you will be able to do so. If you know that one of the priorities I have mentioned above is of interest to you, please let me know. I want you to be part of the process. You can call me or send an email to TBAPresident@bethami.org.
Help us collectively achieve our 10,000 steps each day.