Look for more information and status reports here as our Long Range Planning initiative progresses. Below is the letter which appears in the June, 2017 Shofar, introducing the project and detailing what to expect and how to participate.
Dear Fellow Congregants:
Periodically, successful organizations engage in a long term plan review. Congregation Beth Emeth has done this in the past and it is time to do so again. The goal of this effort is to engage the Congregation in dialogue, focusing not on the Congregation’s challenges of the next week, month or even year, but rather to examine our Congregation’s mission and define our vision for where we would like the Congregation to be three, five, ten years from now.
This endeavor will require the active participation not just of our chairs or committees but the entire Congregational community.
This effort is being undertaken as part of United Synagogue program known as Sulam for Strategic Planners. Its mission is to guide leaders through the process of creating a mission and vision for the future, assessing the wants and needs of their community, and developing strategies that best utilize their capacities resulting in an implementable action plan to strengthen congregations.
We anticipate that this strategic planning effort will take approximately a year to 18 months to complete and it is our current expectation to finish it by to July 1, 2018.
United Synagogue has selected six Congregations from around the United States to form a strategic planning action community to go through this process together. The other five Congregations synagogues selected to participate in the current process are: Ahavath Achim (Atlanta, Ga.), Beth Yeshurun (Houston, Tex.), Tiferet Beit Israel (Blue Bell, Pa.), Agudas Achim (Alexandria, Va.) and Orangetown Jewish Center (Orangeburg, N.Y.).Rabbi Mina and Keith Rubin attended an all-day training session in New York City in March, braving the ferocious non-blizzard. There will be a follow-on session in Atlanta in December.
It is important that everyone in the Congregation recognize that this effort is going to be a process. Currently, the core Long Term Planning Committee is recruiting task force leaders and members for the three primary task forces: Data Gathering; Mission/ Vision; Communications. Over the next twelve months there will be many discussions with staff, committee chairs, board members, trustees, at least one Congregational survey, and many small group meetings with interested Congregants. The result of this effort will be an action plan approved by the Congregation’s Board.
We anticipate that much of the fact-finding work will be performed in the coming months and will be completed by the end of the summer. Please watch for a Congregational survey that is expected to be distributed shortly, and for your invitations to small group discussions over the coming few months.
The current core committee includes co-chairs Jay Myerson and Keith Rubin, Marty Zelman, Rabbi Mina, Fran Besalel, Leslie Lesch, Linda Eisinger, and Alex Stillman. Additional members will be added as the process progresses, to include former long term planning members and other past, current, and future congregational leaders and members.
As the chairs, we will be coordinating this effort and facilitating the Congregational discussion. We will be providing regular updates at Board meetings and providing progress communications to keep the entire Congregation informed as we will need the active involvement of the entire Congregation for this effort to succeed.
We look forward to working with you in this process and we will be sharing information and updates starting in June at http://bethemeth.org/strategic-planning.
Jay Myerson and Keith Rubin
Chairs, Long Range Planning Committee