Synagogue Initiative Symposium at Beth Sholom

Karen Bluestone from the JCF describes the exciting Synagogue Initiative that occurred at the new temple Beth Sholom. Here is her email reprinted below. Last night at Beth Sholom’s new beautiful synagogue, approximately 160 representatives of Bay Area synagogue and JCF leadership gathered to discuss “the creation of a lasting partnership to enrich and enliven Jewish life in our community.” Barry Shrage, the CEO of the Boston federation (Combined Jewish Philanthropies) was our keynote speaker. He was brilliant, irreverent, and provocative. It was a terrific launch of the Synagogue Initiative, now referred to as the Synagogue/Federation Partnership! I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank Rabbi Marv Goodman and Chair, Deborah Mintz. Marv has been a patient and skillful bridge-builder. This event was the culmination of more than a year’s work, engaging synagogue and JCF leadership in conversations about how we might work together. Deborah has been a significant force behind all of this. Without her passion, and leadership for this cause, I do not believe we could ever have gotten to this point. Amy Morgenstern, who served as our professional consultant on this project, created a process and event format that facilitated real learning and relationship-building. Former JCF CEO Brian Lurie commented at one point at our table, “The Federation and synagogues are coming to the table in good faith to work out misunderstandings and move forward in a productive way. This has never happened before in this community. It’s really exciting!” Chip Edelsberg from the Jim Joseph Foundation commented today, “It was a terrific launch. Your entire team should be very proud!” Rabbi Micah Hyman told me, “This kind of dialogue is just what we’ve been asking for!” The convening of this terrific group of professional and lay leaders was, in and of itself, an act of good faith that led most participants to indicate to us that they have trust in this partnership moving forward!

Categories: Events


June 19, 2008


The Federation