by Rielle Miller Gabriel
As you walk into Temple Micah this spring you will see a new addition to our lobby—a large poster showcasing our Roadmap Project’s drivers of our future, five levers that help us become a stronger home. As a quick refresher, the Roadmap is a living, forward looking framework intended to guide Micah’s future choices and decisions. Members, clergy, and staff developed it together through a series of facilitated conversations in 2019 and 2020. The poster is our first congregation-wide unveiling of the output of our collective effort.
I invite you to spend a few minutes reading a part of the poster each and every time you enter the lobby. My advice? Treat it like a piece of art. Take in the whole poster at first; let the Roadmap overwhelm you. Then approach it piece by piece. Focus on one lever—whichever one calls your attention—and really explore it from different angles. Ask yourself how you connect to that lever, how are you embracing that lever through your engagement at Temple Micah, or what drew that particular lever to your attention?
Step away and let the ideas ruminate in your brain. Talk it over with a friend, family member, perhaps even another congregant in the lobby. Then come back and tackle another lever, until you have explored and examined what each of them means to you and your experience of Temple Micah.
The next part is harder—well, maybe from here it seems harder than it will be in actuality. The next part is to integrate the Roadmap into our congregation, into our worship, into our clubs and groups, into our Board committees, and into how we run the temple itself. This work has already begun—that’s how we have a poster to begin with! This year, our clergy and staff started to incorporate a purposeful discussion of the Roadmap and how we are becoming a stronger home and how the work that each staff members does—yes, all of them, from our senior rabbi to our custodians—embraces one of the levers.
At its March meeting, the Temple Micah Board had a similar discussion of how we embrace the Roadmap through our various engagements with and in the congregation. It was an eye-opening experience for me, and I walked away with two thoughts: As a community, we are already doing so much to embrace the Roadmap. I hope you come to the same conclusion, because the Roadmap project was as much about Micah’s current identity as it is about Micah’s future. We should find it relatively easy to map a lever to an initiative or project or the maintenance of the building. The goal is to continue
examining our activities through the lens of embracing the Roadmap, so our future activities will continue to support who we are as Temple Micah.
It was difficult to single out just one lever embraced by a particular activity I engage in at Micah. I expect that you, too, will run into this same issue as you go through this exercise. The levers overlap, intersect, and support each other. This seems obvious if you think about them as aspects of Temple Micah’s identity. While they are distinct philosophically, in practice the levers of the Roadmap are enacted by similar behaviors and activities.
Over this calendar year, we as a community will meaningfully engage with the output from the Roadmap Project. We will work towards becoming a stronger home so that in another 60 years, Temple Micah can still be a thriving congregation.
This article originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of the Vine.