We are affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the association of Conservative congregations in North America.
Back to the Future
A wise rabbi once told me that a rabbi has to love not only Jewish tradition, but also love Jews, each of whom has his or her own path in life. In the short time that I’ve been here at CJC, many of you have shared your life stories and spiritual journeys with me. I’ve also heard stories about the congregation, both good and bad, but (truthfully!) mainly good. I’ve learned how CJC has overcome challenges in the past, how deeply you care about the shul and how willing you are to work for its future.
As part of my work as transitional rabbi (which is really a process, not a program), I’d like to involve more of you in remembering the past and refocusing on the core values of the congregation. This transitional period is an opportune time for us to define what is unique, beloved and life-giving about CJC.
The first step of this will be a session to which you are all cordially invited—veteran members and newcomers, active participants and more occasional contributors, of all ages (teens included) and backgrounds. The date is Sunday, December 8, 9:30 am-12:00 noon. We will provide breakfast and babysitting (if you request it). At this gathering, we will ask you to reflect on the history of the congregation, both past and present. We will look for key events and major themes in the history of CJC. We will then imagine a “history of the future”—a list of the congregational accomplishments that you would like to celebrate five years from now.
Afterwards, in the months to come, members of the congregation will be interviewed one-on-one by members of our strategic planning and transition committees. (However, due to time constraints, not everyone can be interviewed. Let me know if you want to be involved in this process, and I will make sure that you are included.) In these interviews, some of the questions will be: When were you most alive, most motivated, and excited about congregational life? What made it exciting? What was your part? What are the most essential characteristics of CJC, what do you find special about it? What are your three top wishes for its future?
Ultimately, we will develop a set of “provocative proposals” based on the information that we will receive. These proposals will help us to carry the best parts of our past into the future. They will encourage new conversations, based on our values as a congregation and on the most positive aspects of our life together.
You’ll be hearing more about this undertaking soon. I am excited about it and look forward to going “back to the future” with you.
Rabbi David Klatzker