Friday, May 31, 2013

What I said and forgot to say (damn)

I was on a panel with Sid Schwarz and Lisa Colton this week at Synergy UJA federation of NY to talk about where synagogues need to be headed.

I used the rule of three pointed out by my colleague Ed Harwitz: when you speak just say three things.

Ok so I gave three headlines and forgot something. I want to kick my self for forgetting to say something I felt was really important.

Headline One:
Congregations that are successfully making change are strong enough to be vulnerable.
That is they know when they are at their best..they have a sense of worthy purpose that is inspiring. And they are strong enough to say things like:
I need help
What if
Let's imagine

Headline Two:
Congregations that are successfully making change are speaking to the real life questions and desires of people. The agenda is what we Jewish leaders want, but rather are present-non judgmental to engage folks in what they yearn for...like we took 100 educators to Macy's to say this is where life questions emerge, practice radical empathy and be present for folks with self and with wisdom of tradition.

Headline Three
Congregations that are successfully making change are recognizing the center of the  synagogue universe is not the sanctuary. Architecture and the calendar has staff pulling to the center of the sanctuary. We know there is no center of the universe. So these congregations are understanding no center and there are multiple centers, so engaging takes place in multiple settings, with different staffing strategies (the universe also doesn't revolve around the clergy).

and Damn, what I wanted to say was
STOP WITH THE JEWISH JOURNEY
this bifurcation of people..people aren't on Jewish journeys and life journeys
they are on life journeys and Judaism speaks to that
speak to the whole
sorry I didnt' say it there, glad I can say it here
Stop with the Jewish journey
Engage the whole of a person with the riches of Jewish life 
Torah is a conversation
Engage Life journeys  with the conversation