Over the course of our 60 year history at Temple Micah, we’ve consistently pushed ourselves to think about how we can advance our values. Our Roadmap, a living, forward-looking framework intended to guide Micah’s future choices and decisions, provide clear avenues for us to challenge our assumptions, reflect who we are, and move ever closer to the community we want to be. The Belonging Project is one way in which we have been advancing the Roadmap this year. Rabbi Beraha, Executive Director Beth Werlin, Roberta Aronson, Josh Berman, and Lauren Laitin were proud to represent Temple Micah as our Belonging Project team.
Now that we have completed the formal program (depicted below), we’d like to share the key results, what we’ve learned, and what actions we are taking to continue this work.
While no survey yields a perfectly representative sample, our responses captured a nice cross-section of our community. The data showed significant pieces of positive data, and offered some opportunities on where we can keep improving. We have captured the key results below. If you are interested in reviewing the full report, you can find that here.
Advancing our Roadmap requires a sense of belonging to Temple Micah. We understand from both the survey and qualitative interviews that it can be challenging for people in our community to plug in, to find pockets in which they want to engage, to meet new people, or to make new friends. In our conversations, many articulated a sense that it can be difficult to find opportunities to contribute to, or participate meaningfully in, the synagogue community.
This is an opportunity for the congregation – people would like to be more engaged and for Micah to be a source of deep shared experiences. While we are proud of our culture of digging in and co-creating our own Jewish lives, we understand that the path to that type of contribution and participation could be more accessible for many of us, and that the first step is becoming more acquainted with others in the community. We are increasingly aware that many of us want that, and we look forward to finding opportunities for people to connect more readily in small group settings.
The lessons and principles explored in the Belonging Project require lifelong pursuit. The effort to deepen connection and belonging in our community will be continuous and iterative, and will always warrant and require the care and attention of everyone in our congregation.
In addition to the workshops, coaching sessions, and qualitative interviews, we’ve started applying the lessons and principles learned in the Belonging Project program in the following ways:
As we continue to thrive into our next 60 years, living our Roadmap, we look forward to challenging ourselves to consider how and where a deeper sense of belonging in ways that double down on the Jewish narrative, that tie directly to the Human Project, that help co-create our Jewish lives, and that engage people beyond Micah.