Project Bina, (meaning “insight”) is a volunteer committee working to establish a long-term feedback loop at Temple Beth Am. Project Bina seeks to deepen understanding of the needs of the Beth Am congregation, collect diverse perspectives from all TBA congregants, and use feedback received to inform our future planning, programming, and services.
Thank you to all who participated in our share-out of the TBA Congregational Kibbitz results this past Sunday afternoon, Sept 10. We had a good crowd at TBA in the sanctuary and also had engaged Zoom attendees who joined in the discussion, participated in interactive polls, and asked great questions!
The Kibbitz covered a wide range of topics from why people joined and stay at TBA to social engagement and inclusion, adult education, social justice, youth education, our upcoming rabbinic transition, worship/communal prayer, financial health, and communication. We gathered a broad set of insights from 29 small group discussions with 141 TBA members. The presentation and recording below have all of the details about this project. The deck also showcases how many people contributed to making this a successful and insightful event, from our wonderful Beth Am trained facilitators to our Beth Am Clergy and Staff to the inaugural Project Bina committee. Some of our findings are noted below, with much more in the presentation deck, so please check that out!
Here is a snapshot of our key findings:
Additional insights about the other topics we discussed at the Kibbitz are included in the presentation and recording below.
These findings have been reviewed with our lay leaders, Clergy, and Staff, who are already starting to use these to inform their work. Some examples of these are featured in the presentation on Slide 39, with more action planning in progress and additional follow-up research planned.
For more details, please tune in to the Zoom recording below and also see the full presentation below. If you have any questions on this presentation or our findings, please send a note to Amanda@templebetham.org
July 2023 Update
We have completed our analysis of the Congregational Kibbitz, and have started to share results with our lay leadership and Kibbitz facilitators. We’ll be discussing these results through the rest of the summer, and are in the process of scheduling time to share our findings with the congregation in early September, where we will share how we’ll be starting to use these results in future planning and engagement with you across a broad range of topics.
One of our founding Project Bina committee members, T.J. Stutman, who also serves as the TBA Treasurer, leads our Finance committee, and is on our Executive Board committee, has been reflecting on his work with the committee and we are pleased to share his thoughts here:
“Jewish community is what draws me to shul. Every time I attend services, participate in a Brotherhood event, or attend a Board function, I’m struck by how valuable the opportunity is to engage with my people — across generations, across backgrounds, and even across interpretations of Jewish living. I know I’m not alone in this — this is a communitarian religion and I know that many others are seeking a place where they feel they belong.
I’m delighted to serve on the Project Bina committee as an extension of my investment in our sacred community. I know that our community has many layers, and I want everyone to share that feeling of belonging and to feel that their voice is heard — by our shul’s leadership, by our clergy, and by our fellow congregants. I want it to be evident that Project Bina is not an exercise in data collection, it’s an opportunity to engage with the community where each voice is valued.
Already I feel that our work has made advances in understanding what brings people to Temple Beth Am, what keeps them here, and what additional work we have to do. I’ve already learned plenty by serving on the committee, and look forward to sharing more learnings with the congregation. I encourage everyone to get involved — attend a future Bina session, submit feedback, and if so moved, financially support Project Bina through a tribute!”
The Project Bina committee supports and guides the Temple Beth Am community in the collection of research and data insights to help inform the development of our programs, events and services. We are committed to transparency, best practices in collecting information and helping our clergy, staff, board and other lay leaders create insight-informed action plans.
Committee Chair: Stacey Symonds
Committee Members: Heather Camp, Corinne Fligner, T. J. Stutman, Rachel Zerrell
Staff Support: Amanda Radman, TBA Membership and Development Associate
Project Bina shared their first results of this project at a well-attended Town Hall on March 19th.
If you did not have a chance to attend, click here to view Project Bina’s High Holy Day Survey Results presentation.
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