Strategic Plan

Italics and checkmarks (√) throughout represent updates to the original (2010) document.

In the spring of 2010, the Board of Directors formally adopted a Mission and Vision for Beth Israel Center and charged a Strategic Plan Committee with the task of devising a plan for carrying out the congregation’s Mission and Vision.

The Strategic Plan Committee — Rabbi Joshua Ben-Gideon, Joel Ehrlich, Anna Heifetz, Elissa Pollack, Jonathan Rozenfeld, Russ Shafer-Landau, Barbara Myers Temkin and Harvey Temkin — began its work in late April 2010.

The committee brainstormed action items and objectives that align with the ideals articulated in the four sections of the Vision statement: Beit Tefillah – House of Prayer, Beit Knesset – House of Gathering, Beit Midrash – House of Study, and Shmirat Beiteinu – Caring for our Home. The committee examined each phrase and idea in the Vision and identified a wide range of new and existing programs and practices through which we currently and could, in the future, better embody our Mission and Vision.

The committee also reviewed strategic needs and desires identified by the congregation through focus groups associated with our 2007/08 Rabbi search, discussions during the Campaign for the Future, the work of the Development Committee (2008), and other recent endeavors. This effort yielded a few additional ideas. It also confirmed that many of the ideas and strategies generated by the strategic plan committee’s close examination of the Mission and Vision have been expressed and wished for by the congregation in other contexts over the years.

Next, the committee evaluated the action items, discussing each one’s ease of implementation, impact on the congregation, perceived need, and cost in terms of dollars, staff time, and political capital.

Embedded in the action items and objectives detailed throughout are three overarching objectives that this committee suggested were Beth Israel Center’s highest priorities at the time this plan was crafted (in 2010).

These big-picture objectives are:

1) Move ahead with a building project to renovate our deteriorating facilities and provide a sustainable facilities model for the next generation.
Completed the renovation in 2014/2015.

2) Ensure that Beth Israel Center has appropriate staff who could be responsible for, among other things, financial resource development (including outreach and membership recruitment) and volunteer coordination.
√ Created and filled a new Program Director position in 2010.
√ Created and filled Administrative Assistant and Executive Director positions in 2013.

3) Evaluate and develop sustainable financial resources, including increasing membership and expanding endowment funds to buffer against temporary reductions in current revenue streams.

Remodeling Beth Israel Center so that our synagogue is safe, secure, accessible and a source of pride for our membership is perhaps the single most significant task we can undertake to fulfill our mission, which is to be a vibrant, caring spiritual home. Further, a remodeled building would support participatory ritual that elevates the spiritual life of our congregational community by providing even more comfortable and accessible spaces in which to gather for worship and to share lifecycle events and other joyful occasions. These ideals come directly from our Mission and Vision, and are just a few of the goals that would be more effectively realized in an updated, safe, accessible building. Renovation completed in 2014/2015.

Having appropriate staff would help us fulfill our mission and vision by consolidating and more effectively coordinating the many varied efforts of our volunteers, lay leadership, and existing staff. Our current human resources, paid staff and volunteers alike, are often stretched too thin, with too little time or energy to implement the quality programs espoused in our Vision. Created three new positions -- Program Director (2010), Administrative Assistant and Executive Director (2013).

Developing sustainable financial resources, i.e., increasing our income, would further make all of the above and many other things possible. Celebrating Shabbat and holidays; gathering to support each other; providing social, educational, spiritual and cultural opportunities for all ages;  making our world a better place through tzedakah, gemilut hasadim and engagement with the broader community and Israel; cultivating future Jewish leadership; maintaining and enhancing our sacred gathering spaces … these and other elements of our mission and vision depend, at least in part, on financial resources and could be better realized if those resources were greater.

In addition to these three objectives — improving our building, reconfiguring our staff, and developing sustainable financial resources— the committee recommended pursuing several other action items and goals. These are also important, and, in many cases, keep us on a course toward achieving one or more of the big-picture objectives.

In this plan, action items and goals are presented according to which committee or group will be responsible for implementing it. The rate at which each goal or objective will be fulfilled is to be determined by each responsible party (typically a committee), who will provide progress reports to the Board on a schedule to be set by the Board in consultation with the relevant Vice President, committee chair and/or staff member.

The strategic plan committee recognizes that some of these action items are already in progress. The committee further recognizes that many committees are currently doing other good and important work. The lists on the following pages do not describe all the work currently being done by our committees and staff, nor are they intended to describe each committee’s purview in total. Rather, this is how the strategic plan committee sees the work of our existing committees and staff fitting in with efforts to fulfill the congregation’s Mission and Vision.


RITUAL
Primary responsible body: The Ritual Committee

High priority:
* Establish consistent Friday night minyan. √

Suggested tools for implementation: schedule more dinners, speakers, enticements to bring people to shul on Friday nights. Partner: Membership Committee.

Easy to implement:
* Provide adequate ritual supplies, including siddurim, chumashim, talitot, kippot. √
Partners: Budget & Finance Committee, Executive Committee.

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Increase participation in davening while making sure those participating are well trained.
•    Improve and promote family participation in Kabbalat Shabbat, Havdalah and seudat shlishit. Partners: Talmud Torah, Family Ed, and Membership Committees.
•    Increase daily minyan attendance.
•    Replace worn siddurim with a new publication or replacements for Siddur Sim Shalom. Partners, if new books are to be purchased: Budget & Finance Committee, Executive Committee. √
•    Repair and replace as necessary the accoutrements for our sifrei Torah.
•    Make (more) positive, engaging changes in our services.
•    Revise the Welcome book. Partner: Membership Committee √

Goals & objectives for which the Ritual Committee is the secondary partners:
•    Provide comfortable experiences for all ages.

MEMBERSHIP
Primary responsible body: The Membership Committee

High priority:
* Increase membership.
Partner: Administrative

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Provide comfortable experiences for all ages. Partner: Ritual Committee
•    Recruit, train and organize greeters
•    Organize and support havurot
•    Publicize members’ professional accomplishments
•    Add opportunities for social connection (programming)
•    Welcome new members
•    Take care of members needing meals, home visits, etc. √ In addition to the "kindness" group (used to arrange meals), a new group formed in 2016: Kehillat Chesed, working with the Rabbi on home visits. (Kehillat Chesed is not under the auspices of the Membership Committee.)

Goals & objectives for which the Membership Committee is the secondary partner:
•    Establish consistent Friday night minyan with dinners, speakers, etc.
•    Develop financial resources by increasing dues or other means.
•    Improve and promote family participation in Kabbalat Shabbat, Havdalah and seudat shlishit.
•    Co-sponsor (more) community-wide activities.
•    Improve/enhance Family Education.
•    Review Welcome Book (see Ritual Committee)

EXECUTIVE
Primary responsible body: The President and Executive Committee

High priority:
* Ensure Beth Israel Center has appropriate staff who could be responsible for, among other things, financial resource development (including outreach and membership recruitment) and volunteer coordination.
  Partner:  Budget & Finance Committee
* Move ahead with building project. Partners: Budget & Finance, House, Building Committees
* Evaluate the effectiveness of, and possibly revamp, our governance model and structure.
* Define an appropriate financial philosophy regarding what portion of the cost of education should be borne by participants and what portion is a community responsibility. Partners: Budget/Finance, Education Committees

Easy to implement:
* Welcome visitors during announcements at services. √

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Create more demographically diverse committees
•    Create a clear system of leadership development
•    Ensure vibrant and well-organized celebrations of Festivals: Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Lag b’Omer. Partner: Staff
•    Maintain awareness of changes in the neighborhood.  E.g., adjacent properties coming on the market; developments at St. James.  Partners: Budget/Finance and House Committees, Administrative Staff

Goals & objectives for which the Executive Committee is the secondary partner:
•    Evaluate current resource allocation.
•    Provide adequate ritual supplies.
•    Provide adequate non-ritual supplies.
•    Co-sponsor (more) community activities.

FINANCE
Primary responsible body: The Budget & Finance Committee

High priority:
* Increase revenue by increasing dues and other means to be identified while still maintaining a philosophy of keeping BIC affordable to all.
Partner: Membership Committee
* Evaluate current resource allocation. Partner: Executive Committee

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Seek fiscal efficiencies and savings where possible.

Goals & objectives for which the Budget & Finance Committee is the secondary partner:
•    Define an appropriate financial philosophy regarding what portion of the cost of education should be borne by participants and what portion is a community responsibility.  Partners: Executive and Education Committees
•    Maintain awareness of changes in the neighborhood.  E.g., adjacent properties coming on the market; developments at St. James.  Partners: Executive Committee and Administrative Staff.
•    Move ahead with building project. Partners: Executive and House Committees

EDUCATION
Primary responsible body: The Education Committee and its subcommittees (Talmud Torah, Family Education, Adult Education)

High priority:
* Promote the Talmud Torah both within BIC and in the larger community
* Continue to assess, and develop where appropriate, relationships between the Beth Israel Talmud Torah and other Jewish education programs in the community.

Goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Engage/encourage members to speak and teach in various settings
•    Co-sponsor (more) community activities. Partners: Membership, Executive
•    Strengthen ties to Israel. Suggested tool: Establish or participate in an Israel peer program for bar/bat mitzvah students
•    Improve/enhance Family Education and Adult Education. Partner: Membership Committee
•    Implement and/or modify the Talmud Torah mission and vision
•    Review bar/bat mitzvah preparation

Goals & objectives for which the Education Committee is the secondary partner:
•    Improve and promote family participation in Kabbalat Shabbat, Havdalah and seudat shlishit.  
•    Define an appropriate financial philosophy regarding what portion of the cost of education should be borne by participants and what portion is a community responsibility.  Partners: Executive and Budget/Finance Committees

HOUSE
Primary responsible body: The House Committee

High priority:
* Address parking issues.
Partner: Executive Committee
* Make sure ongoing maintenance issues are represented in upcoming building project √

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop ongoing maintenance schedules for parts of the building systems in order to keep them in good working condition. √
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.

Objectives for which the House Committee is a secondary partner:
•    Maintain awareness of changes in the neighborhood.  E.g., adjacent properties coming on the market; developments at St. James.  Partners: Executive, Budget/Finance, and Administrative Committees.

YOUTH
Primary responsible body: The Youth Committee

High priority:
* Increase participation in the youth program.
Suggested tool: Friday night dinners for families with high school students

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Continue to implement and/or modify the MOUSY mission and vision.
•    Strengthen ties to Israel. Suggested tool: Fund trips for teens/youth.

SOCIAL ACTION
Primary responsible body: The Social Action “Committee”

Goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Broaden and better publicize activities
•    Strengthen ties to the local Jewish and non-Jewish communities whose mission and vision aligns with BIC’s.  With counterparts at other congregations, established Jewish Congregations for Social Justice (2013).

PERSONNEL
Primary responsible body: The Personnel Committee

Goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Conduct periodic evaluations of key personnel.
•    Assist with personnel contract negotiations.
•    Develop a program of professional development

Objective for which the Personnel Committee is the secondary partner:
•    Ensure the Beth Israel Center has appropriate staff who could be responsible for, among other things, financial resource development (including outreach and membership recruitment) and volunteer coordination. Partners: Executive and Budget/Finance Committees.

ADMINISTRATIVE
Primary responsible body: Professional staff

High priority:
* Increase membership

Easy to implement:
* Send weekly announcements on Thursdays before noon
* Publish a new directory both electronically and on paper.

Other goals & objectives:
•    Develop and implement an operational plan to reach identified goals.
•    Effectively use database management tools to help build community.
•    Improve communication between volunteers, lay leaders and staff
•    Send the Centerite out to arrive by the first or second of the month. Reduced frequency to quarterly. Arrives on time on the new schedule. √
•    Ensure vibrant and well-organized celebrations of Festivals: Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, Lag B’Omer. Partner: Executive Committee
•    Maintain awareness of changes in the neighborhood.  E.g., adjacent properties coming on the market; developments at St. James.  Partners: Executive, Budget/Finance, and House Committees.

Goals & objectives for which the Administrative Staff is the secondary partner:
•    Provide adequate supplies


Adopted by the Board of Directors September 14, 2010

Italics and checkmarks (√) throughout represent updates to the original document.