on Thursday, 25 December 2014.
Posted in President's Blog
Recently, I attended a Board Leadership Seminar presented by Rabbi Steven Kaye, along with our Executive Director, Andi Freier; Membership Engagement Specialist, Nancy Trudell and Board Member, Laura Goodman. The focus of the seminar was to truly understand the role of the board in the life of our congregation. One of the important things that I took away from the evening is that most of us confuse involvement with engagement, using the terms interchangeably. Yet, they are not the same. Involvement is what you do in and for the congregation. Engagement is how you feel about the congregation. Engagement is about emotions. Neurological research confirms that our emotional connections are far stronger than our rational connections. We may know intellectually that belonging to an organization has positive benefits, but, to be truly impactful, we need to feel it. The fact is that more often than not, we feel connected with our heart before we know we are connected in our brain. Congregational Engagement reflects that strong sense of belonging to a caring, interconnected community. Cultivating and nurturing an environment of engagement should be at the very core of what we do, what we say and how we treat one another.
How can we further our vision of an engaged Or Shalom? The Caring Committee is working to inspire a culture of caring and kindness at Or Shalom, which will in turn create meaningful, deep, life-long connections. Their goal is to have a cadre of members that lead, facilitate and inspire the Or Shalom community to participate in caring acts when there is a need, such as shiva help, leading minyanim, hospital visits, sick calls, preparing meals, driving and more. We understand that some training will be necessary and that not everyone is comfortable reaching out in the same way, but, we can all provide support.
Right now, our Caring Committee is looking for members who are interested in taking charge of a congregational need. A small group is forming now and will meet once or twice this year to first determine the most immediate needs to address and second to brainstorm ideas to strengthen and deepen how we provide support and services. Finally, we hope to sponsor one or two events or programs, including a random act of kindness movement, and Junior Caring Committee, that will expand our culture of caring and kindness at Or Shalom.
In the next Shofar, we will learn how another committee is working toward a deeper sense of engagement for our member families. As we look forward to the secular New Year, I encourage and invite you to join the leadership, clergy and staff of Or Shalom as we work together to engage more fully in the life of our congregation.
Congregation Or Shalom21 Hawthorn ParkwayVernon Hills, IL 60061
Office HoursMondays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Fridays: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
P: 847-362-1948F: 847-362-7348
The Safer Synagogues program engages congregational leadership in learning and dialogue about the impact of abuse across the lifespan, improving access to support for congregants experiencing abusive situations, and coordinated community strategies that perpetuate healthy, peaceful Jewish homes, families and relationships. Please click here for more information.