I used to measure big events in life in 8-week blocks.
Back when I was going to summer camp, most of us went for the entire summer. Camp was 8 weeks. Tuition was like $800 that to most parents seemed like a whole lot of money. While you thought about being at camp for 8 weeks, it seemed like an eternity. But every summer always went by too quickly. How long my time at camp each summer was is how I would measure everything: how long until the basketball season and the first practice, December vacation, the end of school, and of course until the next summer at camp started.
So now that Passover is over, the synagogue calendars as well as our personal calendars are packed with end of year events: Shavuot; The last day of religious school; Confirmation; and the Annual Meeting. Many board members will complete their terms and service as new ones begin. And there are the many end-of-year activities that are going on in the other part of our lives – schools and other community organizations.
All of this before many of us will scatter near and far throughout the subsequent 8 weeks for vacations and of course, for camp.
It is during this 8-week time block – right now – the craziest 8 weeks of the year for many of us, that are really critical to what happens next year –beginning at the High Holy Days – in your synagogue.
This is the time to think about what you might do differently during the summer to reach out and engage people who are new to your community.
This is the time to reach out to congregants whose children are grown and out of the house and check in with them to see what is going on in their lives.
This is the time to think about and create an action plan to engage congregants between Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, to build upon the good feelings of the High Holy Days.
This is the time to create a communications plan utilizing email, your website, Facebook, Twitter and even “old fashioned” mailings for next year.
This is the time to create a campaign plan for fundraising beyond dues/annual commitments. The budget the board has created and will be presenting at the upcoming annual meeting has given you the campaign goal. You need to determine your fundraising game plan that for many should begin in the coming weeks.
This is the time for board members to spend some time together and talk about the synagogue beyond the budget. What are your dreams to create a more vibrant sacred community? What are you doing well? What are the challenges the synagogue is facing?
How can you make your dreams reality?