At Congregation Agudas Achim, our values, goals and mission begin with our name. We are Agudas Achim – a band of brothers and sisters.
We are a sacred community of families and individuals; children, parents, and grandparents; those who grew up immersed in Judaism, and those who became committed later in life. We are united by our support and compassion for one another, and by our love for Israel and connections with Hashem, spirituality, learning, tefilah, and culture.
Our success as a congregation is measured by the lives we touch, the connections we make, and the memories we share.
We are not a business in the traditional sense and do not measure long term success simply by meeting the bottom line or keeping the building warm, clean and secure. However, like all non-profits, we cannot fulfill our mission unless we also meet the bottom line and keep the building warm, clean and secure. This is especially true as we recover from the COVID pandemic, which has changed the ways we learn, pray, and gather and created new expectations for accessibility and technology.
So, it is vital that we think strategically about our goals and priorities — and about how we accomplish them. To achieve that, a strategic planning task force made up of synagogue leaders, including Senior Rabbi Neil Blumofe, convened in late 2020. It met through the early months of 2021 to establish our goals and identify tactics to achieve them.
Some of these goals revolve around the core functions of synagogue life, like religious services and education. Some are focused on essential areas like financial stewardship, facilities, and operations. And some are in areas linked to our future success, including fundraising and membership.
They are all laid out in the plan that follows.
The plan reflects progress we have already made, such as securing long term partnerships with Rabbi Blumofe, Rabbi Gail Swedroe, and Director of Youth Education and Family Engagement Adra Lustig.
It includes steps we can take quickly, such as hiring a Director of Development to work alongside Director of Operations Casey Cole, securing the IT infrastructure to meet post-COVID-expectations, and continually increasing youth and family engagement.
It includes plans that have long been under discussion, such as renewing a Joint Use and Management Agreement with our campus partners for the Education Building.
And it includes aspirational — but very plausible — ideas such as growing our endowment so it can support operations in a meaningful way and re-examining our dues structure.
I want to thank the task force members for their hard work and thoughtful approach in preparing this plan. And I want to thank all members of Congregation Agudas Achim, who make us an Unshakable community and will come together as one to implement our strategic plan.
Hazak Hazak V’nithazek. From strength to strength, and may we always strengthen each other.
Strategic Planning Task Force Chair
To view the Executive Summary of how the Strategic Plan was assembled, please click here.
To view the top level goals identified for each domain in the Strategic Plan, please click here.