In January, we conducted our first-ever member survey, followed by our first-ever Asseyfah (membership meetings). We were thrilled with the survey participation and attendance at the meeting, the spirit with which everyone contributed and the positive outcomes of the meeting.

To demonstrate that we have acted in response to what we learned, we want to share with you the following update.

The Va’ad, together with Rabbi Belgrad, has instituted four concrete changes as a result of the Asseyfah:

  • We are adding a second, dessert-only, Friday night service to the calendar beginning in May. On Shabbat mornings, we have eliminated one of our mornings – replaced by the additional Friday evening – and returned to sharing a potluck lunch.
  • We are enhancing our programming by leveraging community resources, such as our recent OROT-partnered programming for Tu B’Shevat and Shabbat.
  • Thanks to the hard work of Melinda Harris and her hosting committee, we have significantly changed our approach to hosting. We are adding co-hosts, where desired. This enables people unable to host in their homes to actively participate as hosts. We are encouraging hosts to ask for set up and clean up help. We have provided more guidance for the use of Perfect Potluck to help ensure more balanced meals and more equitable contributions. As a result of these changes we have more people willing to host and we will begin signing up for hosting responsibilities by email rather than in the current labor-intensive manner.
  • When appropriate, some of our holidays will be marked by learning on a nearby Shabbat.

Additionally, we received good guidance regarding social action, learning opportunities, and other interests of our members that will provide significant input for the strategic planning process we are beginning.

Renee Hochberg