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Building Relationships and Focusing on How to Connect with People

Building Relationships and Focusing on How to Connect with People
14 Sep 2018 by Lori Kowit

Dear Friends,

In November 2016, I was part of a team of clergy and professional staff from The Temple-Tifereth Israel who participated in a URJ Community of Practice (CoP), Full-time Early Education Community of Practice journey, led by Nancy Bossov and Cathy Rolland of the URJ.  During our CoP journey, the facilitators shared two concepts that helped change our thinking at a strategic level at our Temple. 

The first is “Why”. Nancy Bossov shared a video clip of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why - TED Talk Short Edited.   According to Sinek, “Why” is the core belief of any organization. Why does the organization exist? Once you identify your “Why,” you will know what to do and how to do it. 

The second concept is “Relationship, Meaning, and Impact”.  The concept was introduced by URJ’s Vice President and Director of Strengthening Congregations, Amy Asin. In Asin’s article, Change Your Congregational Culture by Changing How You Measure Success, she states, “We need not discard the old measures of success, but in order to stay relevant and to succeed, we must also incorporate and focus on these new measures.” Asin went on to explain what she meant.  

  • Relationships-Are we helping congregants build deep relationships with people who will be there for them in difficult times and times of joy?
  • Meaning-Are we building meaning by bringing Jewish tradition and wisdom to the challenges our congregants face?
  • Impact-Are we having an impact on our congregants and the world around them?”

Asin says, “These new measures must address the whole of congregational life and revolve around what matters most to our members”.

These two concepts really make you think about building relationships, and focusing on how to connect with people.

Our CoP team was excited to bring these two concepts back to our colleagues and leadership, and they have really begun to shift the culture here at The Temple – Tifereth Israel. The concepts really sparked excitement in me, and I (we) am looking at things differently.  This year when we were scheduling our calendar, we began the conversation with “Why?” and we focused on our Vision Statement to ensure that what we were planning aligned with core beliefs.

For example, our Annual Early Childhood Center’s Fall Family Apple Picking will now become an all-Temple Family Apple Picking. This gathering is a wonderful way to connect to the High Holidays, creating memories and rituals among families and our community.  We are excited to see all of The Temple community come together at the wonderful outing.

I encourage you all to watch the Sinek video clip and read the Asin article. They really have transformed the way we are engaging families.


September 2018