By President Jeff Dielle
Greetings. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the major initiatives the Board is undertaking for 5776. These strategic activities are largely derived from the Three Year Strategic Plan that was approved by the Board in the summer of 2014. These programs and projects are complementary to the “regular and ongoing” work of the Board, overseeing synagogue operations and programming.
Please review this list and ask yourself, “What can I do to get involved?” We are always looking for community members to join in and get involved. Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in learning more.
Now, the strategies:
Build and populate a central database of member information. Use this information to recruit volunteer leaders and workers. B’nai Emunah has must rely on volunteers for almost everything we do. By inviting members to help with one-time projects or to assume specific responsibilities, we are creating the connections that build community. Lisa Karpanty, our Volunteer Coordinator, is spearheading this initiative and is receiving technical support from Shais St. Martin.
Ensure that revenue flows regularly as a result of fund-raising activities. Fundraising is vital to help close the gap between our income and our expenses and for ensuring the long-term sustainability of our congregation. The fundraising focus for this year is Legacy Giving, encouraging members to include B’nai Emunah in their estate plans. Rabbi Mark Melamut, Jeff Dielle, Bonnie Lindauer, and Frank Kurtz are the project team. Additionally, Rabbi Mark Melamut and Jeff Dielle will be facilitating training for synagogue leadership on the “Torah of Money.” This will enable us to hold deeper, more honest conversation about B’nai Emunah’s short and long term financial situation and help us generate “out of the box” solutions.
Bring expenses more closely in line with income. We continue to look for ways to reduce expenses and improve accountability. Shais St. Martin and Andrew Nusbaum, our Treasurer, will be implementing a new budgeting process which will decentralize responsibility for expense management. They will also be working to implement some of the recommendations that were made by the Expense Reduction Task Force in 2014.
Develop and implement a checklist for publicizing B’nai Emunah programs and events. B’nai Emunah needs to “systematize” the use of print and online marketing and publicity materials so we can bring more people in the doors. Gabriele Lange Edwards, our Second Vice President and chair of the Marketing Committee, will lead this effort.
Act as a concierge to connect individual members to classes, spiritual guidance, social chavurot, interest groups, and social action activities. Bring community members with common interests or issues together. B’nai Emunah can build a tighter community by increasing member involvement. Shais St. Martin and Sharon Bleviss are heading up the effort to gather member information and to form a Concierge Team to help make connections.
Prepare for Rabbi Mark’s Sabbaticals. In the summers of 2016, 2017, and 2018 Rabbi Mark will be taking some well-deserved time off. One of the challenges will be covering Friday evening and Saturday morning services. Rabbi Mark Melamut, with assistance from Rabbi David Lavine and Jeff Dielle, will host a Tefilah Training Team for people who wish to learn to lead Friday evening or Saturday morning services.
Examine site security and look for cost-effective improvements. B’nai Emunah needs to always look at the physical security of 3595 Taraval and evaluate possible improvements, such as having “Greeters” at services. We believe that the SF Police Department and the Jewish Community Relations Council may have other suggestions. Ken Mitchell, our First Vice President, is taking the lead on this activity, with help from Shais St. Martin, Rabbi Mark Melamut, and Jeff Dielle.