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April 2017

Our update begins with a note of sincere appreciation to all who have contributed their thoughts, ideas, and dreams toward shaping our synagogue's culture and environment through: 

One Community, One Campus focus groups now completed, with report nearly summarized Numerous meetings with people who have previously looked at the issue of a single campus Synagogue-wide survey in March which will now be analyzed
What we've learned from you, along with proposed constitutional changes, will be presented during this year's Annual Meeting.  

You've probably also noticed some changes in the ways TBE is communicating and connecting with you lately.   Many of these changes were stimulated by our exploration of how TBE has and should approach brand and marketing. Specific to that, we give our thanks to our professional staff in the office for all their hard work!

February 2017

The VSC is happy to report that we're moving along. Our focus group work is coming to a close as we summarize the themes from the eight focus groups (5 congregant groups, staff, school personnel, and a few teen voices). The information will help inform a congregation-wide survey that will be distributed in the next few weeks.  We encourage everyone to complete the survey which will influence how we realize a single spiritual site for our community. The survey will be distributed electronically.  Anyone who is unable to submit electronically will have the opportunity to fax, or arrange to provide their answers by phone. Concurrently the VSC is gathering information and data related to our current facilities. 

We also look forward to the work generated by the Constitutional Rewrite Committee and reviewed by the Executive Committee and Board in anticipation of the annual meeting.  We're hopeful that a methodically planned reduction in board members over time will enable congregants to devote energy and enthusiasm to potential programming and committee work.

We thank all of those who facilitated, participated in, and synthesized information from the focus groups and look forward to even wider input via survey from all of you!

Together we continue to envision and plan the future of TBE!

January 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, we’re recapping some of the work done toward realizing our purpose in nurturing a community rooted in Jewish values where we inspire each other to make a difference.
•  Launch of Nesiyah, our new educational program
•  Board approved changes to the professional supervision of staff
•  Creating, prioritizing, and beginning the implementation of new procedures and programs for new member recruitment and engagement
•  Exploration of new brand and marketing strategies to support our vision
•  Recommended changes in concert with the constitutional re-writing effort toward optimizing board structure for greater efficacy
•  Initial steps in our “One Community, One Campus” movement --  determining WHAT we need and want in facilities to support our stated values and purposes

Our membership and board structure initiatives coincide with the synagogues current constitutional rewriting process and we’re awaiting a professional brand and marketing proposal.  

Work in determining our facility needs is underway:  Approximately 50 congregants have participated in five focus groups.  Staff and a few teens who expressed interest in sharing their thoughts will be interviewed in January.  A survey to get additional perspectives can be anticipated later this winter.  Members of the Visioning Steering Committee are also consulting with congregants who previously focused on our facilities issues to gain insights and having exploratory conversations with architectural professionals who specialize in this arena.
 We look forward to the implementation steps associated with the early taskforce work and appreciate the contributions of taskforce members, focus group facilitators and participants, and all of the lay leaders and staff who work day-to-day as we continue to shape our synagogue's future.

Wishing all good things in 2017!


December 2016

Just a quick update for this month…

We have launched of the One Community, One Campus focus groups. Eighty-nine individuals expressed an interest.  Married couples were asked to choose one spouse to participate.  With that caveat, we were able to issue invitations to all who expressed interest to participate.   The first session took place November 14th and three other focus groups are scheduled for December.  Information gained from these groups will be summarized and used to inform a survey which will be widely disseminated.    

We look forward to sharing the information gleaned as we strive toward a spiritual community space that will enable us to realize our vision and we’re excited to take these initial steps!

Your feedback is always welcome via or in the comment section below.



October 2016

In September we reported that the Visioning Steering Committee proposed some changes to the structure of the board in large part to shift volunteer energy into committees, programs, etc. Feedback from the Executive Committee was incorporated and the Board of Governors voiced its support in principle of these measure. A constitutional review will soon be underway to realize these changes which will then require a congregational vote at the annual meeting. Our hope is the modifications in governance and recent changes in professional staff will enable members to find more joy in volunteering to benefit our TBE community.
Also significant is the launch of the One Community, O ne Campus initiative. (Yes, yes, we’ve discussed our buildings and our locations previously.) At this juncture, our focus is not on where we want to be, but rather WHAT we want...W HAT we need...W HAT will further our vision and values...wherever we are. To gather this information we’ll begin with focus groups by a survey to provide us with a better understanding of our spiritual community needs.
We will also need to re-assess our current facilities to determine if and how they might be able to meet the determined needs. It’s both a necessary and arduous task and much help will be needed to accomplish it.
Ultimately, we aim to create a spiritual community space that will enable us to realize our vision and we’re excited to take these initial steps!
Your feedback is always welcome via or in the comments section below.
-Judy Gary, Roy Zeidman, Marsha Feldstein, Hilton Rubin, Ari Hirsch, Debbie Minden, Rabbi Michael Knopf, Ben Lewis, Brie Stammer, Chris Greenberg, Jake Pasternak, and Moshe Feldman, and Faith Kallman 






July 2016

As promised, this communique is designed to keep congregants better informed regarding the visioning process and to provide a means for you to share your views.  To continue charting our course, we determined the need for a few more hands on deck.  We’re so pleased to welcome Chris Greenberg, Moshe Feldman, Brie Stammer, and Jake Pasternak to the Visioning Steering Committee (VSC).  Each brings additional perspective and energy.  
    This month the Dues and Membership Taskforce presented their findings to the VSC.  Our sincere thanks to Michael and Beth Edelstein, Reid Cardon, Adreinne Feldman, Benita Felmus, Karin Fine, Don Light, GD Rothenberg and Nathan Zasler for their efforts.  Their work focused on a study of our current membership and dues structure and exploration of alternatives.  Some of the key recommendations include changing our congregational culture through language and deed –making it clear that we value each person’s participation in TBE and believe the ability to pay should never be an impediment to being part of our community.  Our discussions with the taskforce challenged the terms “membership” and “dues” and what it unintentionally communicates,  yielding several ideas for immediate changes.  At this juncture, the taskforce did not recommend a voluntary dues structure similar to other synagogues.
    In June we mentioned upcoming recommendations regarding board governance.  The two VSC members responsible for moving that item forward were necessarily delayed with family and work priorities, but you will soon here more on this issue.
    The Brand and Marketing taskforce, led by Jessica Lynn, has introduced the VSC to a local marketing consultant we hope to engage, and the Recruitment and Engagement taskforce, led by Larry Goldman, has just submitted its report.  An update regarding both is forthcoming.
    Along with all of you, we welcome Ms. Ramona Brand, our new Director of Youth Learning.  Ramona is becoming acquainted with the concepts for our new educational program, Nesiyah (“Journey”).  We’re looking forward to introducing both our new program and director during the later part of the summer.

Our thanks to those who sent messages via  Keep sending us your feedback!

June 2016

Welcome to the first post from the Visioning Steering Committee (VSC). We hope you found our "to date" summary on page 6 in the Annual Report informative and that these monthly communiques will keep everyone better apprised of our progress.

The VSC has been hard at work for a year and a half now. We've been listening, identifying issues that need to be addressed, and designing changes to TBE's structure that will help us better pursue our purpose as a community. 

After hearing from congregants and studying alternatives, we will soon recommend a modified board governance structure to the Executive Committee that will more closely align with and support our purpose and values. The most noticeable change will be a reduction in the size of the board. Our recommendations are based on the recognition that the board should focus on decision making and policy development as they relate the perpetuation of the organization.  A reduction in board members acknowledges that the power of the organization lies with well-functioning committees and that the Board should primarily be an approving body.  Reducing the number of board members will enable our pool of volunteer congregants to more joyfully and energetically fulfill the needs of our organization.  It will also signal a greater reliance and trust in our professional staff to manage operations and implement programs.

We've also heard from many of you that the way we communicate as a Temple - how we keep each other informed and connected to what's going on, and how we tell our story in the wider community - needed some work. That's why we convened a Brand and Marketing Task Force, which has developed its recommendations. Based on their findings, we are seeking financial support to create and launch a fresh TBE brand that will help us communicate our vision and values.

In addition to several other efforts, we’re looking forward to introducing Nesiyah (“Journey”) -- our newly anticipated youth education program.  Realizing that this should be coordinated with hiring a Director of Youth Learning, stay tuned! 

We look forward to sharing more about our continuing efforts in June.  Please feel free to share comments.

- Judy Gary, Roy Zeidman, Marsha Feldstein, Hilton Rubin, Ari Hirsch, Debbie Minden, Rabbi Michael Knopf, and Ben Lewis

Visioning Steering Committee

Sat, April 20 2024 12 Nisan 5784