It is hard to believe that we’re now six years into the journey of “our little experiment in intentional Judaism” as some of us called it back when we first started.  Back then, it was just a handful of us, with Rabbi Belgrad holding out a light to guide us – like a single candle trying to light a huge landscape. The trail we had to follow didn’t exist and we’ve blazed it together.

And here we are six years later – more than 40 members strong, active, vibrant, unique, intentional, growing, and casting a bright light forward as we continue to expand and evolve B’Chavana.

As with anything in life, planning ahead helps the road ahead get traveled better and smarter. The Va’ad, and a subcommittee of the Va’ad, have begun to undertake what we are calling “Intentional Future Planning for B’Chavana“.  And yes, if you contract Intentional Future to an acronym, it spells “IF“.  In fact that’s our quick reference name – IF Planning.  That on its own is intentional – because part of future planning involves running through a variety of “What If” scenarios – everything from growth, to potential future facilities, to rabbinic succession, to future ideas about what we could do more of as we grow.  “If” is a powerful thing – it allows us to dream a bit, plan a bunch, and have a in place a road map for what to do as the future arrives.

The first step of the IF Planning process will be a group exercise in talking about what is important to us – our values.  By capturing what is important to us, what is meaningful to us, and what our “secret sauce” is will help us make sure we’re using those values as guideposts as we then continue forward during the planning process.  From there we will begin developing and evolving our mission and using that to start building a strong road map for our future and ensuring B’Chavana is a part of our lives and the lives of future generations.

As mentioned, there is a Va’ad team managing this process – Leslie Harrison, Stew Campbell and Chris Wright have volunteered their time and skills in organizational planning and management to drive this process forward.

To that end, please join us on Friday evening, July 21, for the first part of this – our program for that evening will be “Establishing B’Chavana’s Ten Core Values”.  Rabbi will lead us on an exercise where we brainstorm and free associate, then winnow down and finalize those 10 things that we, as a community, hold near and dear.

We will continue to send periodic updates as we proceed forward – we anticipate the IF Planning effort to unfold over several months of work, and we’ll involve the Va’ad and the general membership each step of the way so that the final result reflects our shared vision and represents the direction of the majority of B’Chavana members.

IF is a wonderful thing.  We look forward to having you help us dream a bit, plan a lot, and build for a long-lasting future.

Leslie Harrison
Stew Campbell
Chris Wright
Rabbi Marc J. Belgrad