The clergy, staff, lay leaders and congregation have done much to welcome all our members, including interfaith/intermarried members, members of diverse Jewish and personal backgrounds and ages, potential members and our visitors. There have also been opportunities for all to deepen their personal connections with each other, with the congregation, with the clergy personally through social events, programs and worship services. We should continue to expand upon these welcoming efforts and facilitate participation.
We have made great progress in increasing opportunities for learning, spirituality and developing a positive Jewish identity through worship and structured programs for adults and children including: cultural and educational opportunities, a variety of styles and times of worship services, Torah study, varied affiliation groups, family education, musical participation and appreciation, Religious School, Nursery School, Camp, J*Journeys, and clergy-led trips to Israel and other places with significant Jewish history. We also seek opportunities to strengthen our connections with Israel. We should continue with these efforts and encourage and foster a deeper commitment to these initiatives by all congregants.
The congregation, including the Social Action committee and Hineinu, has worked hard to help members of our congregation and members of the Northern VA community. We have focused our attention not only on local and national, but on global issues as well. This new goal recognizes our tradition’s emphasis on Tikkun Olam.
The recent recession has emphasized the importance of this goal to the long-term sustainability of our congregation. We have made strides toward bolstering our financial position, and ensuring that our facilities will continue to be well maintained. It is now time to increase efforts sufficient to achieve this goal.
Although the congregation has a dedicated core of lay leaders, this goal is intended to focus on broadening the lay leadership and volunteer pool. The congregation would benefit not only from a more structured approach to leadership development but also from increased participation, particularly in projects, ad hoc activities, task forces, and other team efforts of a defined duration.
This goal is intended to help the congregation and clergy “meet young adults where they are”, to ensure a strong pipeline of support and/or membership for our synagogue and to serve our members of all ages in new and creative ways. Live web streaming of our services is one such successful example. This goal also acknowledges that society’s methods of communication and interaction are changing in profound ways (among all ages), and we should be creative in our outreach (to the unaffiliated and to potential new members) as well as our in-reach (to current members). This goal goes beyond Goal 1, and encompasses the engagement of younger members as well as people who are currently unaffiliated with a congregation. It also embraces new ways to communicate and meet the needs, and facilitate participation of the entire congregation.