What is Shared Vision?
In 2005, our congregation embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Over the course of 2 ½ years, we asked ourselves three questions:
What do we do?
How do we behave?
What is our dream?
To find the answers, we engaged our community in a series of conversations – some in large groups, some small focus groups, some individual discussions, surveys and questionnaires. Over 550 individuals participated. We discovered consensus for each of these questions. Together, we carefully looked at the words we would use to articulate what we heard. Eventually, after testing the wording with many congregants, our Board of Trustees formally – and unanimously – adopted our “Shared Vision.”
Here is our shared vision:
Core Purpose (Who we are)
Nurturing Jewish meaning, connection, and continuity.
Core Values (How we behave)
Our congregation values each one who walks through our doors. We embrace one another in our needs, hopes, and desires. We will accept others for who and what they are, recognizing ourselves in them. Each is created in God’s image and has gifts to share with other members of our congregation. We are present for one another as we encounter the full range of human experiences.
Sacredness can be found everywhere, if only we seek it. We infuse holiness into the world when we create moments that heal brokenness and when we catch glimpses of the underlying wholeness that connects everything and everyone. We recognize our earth beginnings, as our hands and heats reach for wholeness. Every situation and every person holds the potential to bring about holiness.
Derech Eretz (common decency)
We act by a set of values called “derech eretz.” Our behavior is guided by these principles of respect, honor, honest, integrity, dignity, and humility. These patterns of behavior are literally “the way of the land.” They are the foundations of our relationship as a community and with one another. And even when holiness hides from us, we still act with derech eretz because such actions fan the holy sparks within us.
BHAG: Big Holy Awesome Goal (What we do)
Every congregant pursues an individualized Jewish path. In so doing, the individual, the community, and the world become better.