Hi everyone,

Our strategic planning community meeting was a huge success, showing us the energy around this initiative and highlighting places where we need continued work. Please read below for updates on our clergy transition and strategic planning process.

Clergy Transition
The board continues to discuss our clergy needs and will soon determine what additional clergy / staff role we need to fill in the coming interim year. We are pleased to report that Rabbi Berkman will continue to be with us in the years to come and that we will be centering our clergy leadership around her.

Members who attend Friday night or Saturday morning services know Rabbi Berkman and her abilities well. For those of you who have not yet had a chance to connect with Rabbi Berkman, we encourage you to get in touch with her and to join us for one of the upcoming community events, where you can experience her warmth and engaging personality:

Shabbat B’yachad, Friday, February 9th (dinner at 6pm and services at 7pm)
Purim Celebration and Megillah Reading, February 27th – Expect a festive community service, bring a gragger (noisemaker), eat some hamantaschen (traditional cookies) and enjoy an open bar
Second Night of Passover Seder, March 31st
Additional informal opportunities to get to know Rabbi Berkman are in the works; watch your inbox for details.

Strategic Planning
The strategic planning work is entirely separate from our clergy transition work, but they are intertwined. The results of the strategic planning will help to inform our long-term clergy structure. The purpose of the strategic planning process is to create a roadmap or action plan to help us get from our current state to our future vision of Temple Ohabei Shalom. In addition to discerning ideal staffing models, we are considering many other elements, such as our core values, approach to diversity and inclusion, and fiscal sustainability.

One hundred members gathered together last Sunday for the first of three community meetings related to strategic planning. The purpose of Sunday’s gathering was to hear the results from the survey and to gather more information so that we may have an accurate understanding of our current state. In addition to the feedback received in the survey and at Sunday’s meeting, we are continuing to gather information informally and would love to hear from you. Email strategicplan@ohabei.org with any thoughts you may wish to share.

The community meetings are a forum to make sure that all viewpoints can be heard and that we hear from one another. For example, we want members over 65 to hear the concerns and ideas of the ARS and TCEE parents and the folks who are new members to interact with long timers. The needs and concerns of our LGBTQ members need to be heard by all, alongside those with or without children, or with disabilities.

The interviews, the survey, the meeting, and the ad hoc conversations will all help us to create a “snapshot” of our community, which in turn will help us to envision what we want Ohabei Shalom to look and feel like in ten years.

This snapshot should be completed by the end of February and will be shared with the entire community. Our next community meeting will be on March 11th from 2-5pm. Grounded in the snapshot of our current state we will dream big and create a detailed vision for the future. On May 6th, 2-5pm we will build an action plan for going from where we are today to our future vision. Please join us.

We are eager to hear from you, at any point in the process.
Email Georgia and Rachel, co-presidents at co-presidents@ohabei.org
Email the Strategic Planning Leadership Team at strategicplan@ohabei.org! Bookmark the Strategic Planning page on our web site and check back often for updates and insights. The strategic planning Leadership Team is comprised of the following members:

Rabbi Berkman, clergy
Rachel Calmas, co-president, TCEE and ARS parent
Danielle Dykeman, member and ARS parent
Mara Goldstein, former board member and former ARS parent
Naomi Gurt Lind, Executive Director
Andy O’Connell, former board member and current band member
Joshua Paradise, board member, ARS parent and former TCEE parent

B’vracha (in blessings)
Rachel and Georgia