Our vision is to be the spiritual center of Reform Jewish life in the Durham and Chapel Hill area. We are a sacred community where relationships with God and with each other define everything the synagogue does; where ritual and learning are engaging; where Torah guides our thoughts and acts; where social justice is a moral imperative; and where membership is about welcoming and engaging both the committed and the unaffiliated. We are dedicated to sustaining Judea Reform Congregation from generation to generation to nourish meaningful Jewish life in our community.
To read our 2010-2015 Strategic Plan, which informed our vision, please click here.
January, 2014: Strategic Plan Update From President Gale Adland
I am pleased to share with the congregation the results of a great deal of work by a dedicated Music task force in addressing one of our important Strategic Plan topics.
In August, 2012, informed by our Strategic Plan goal of creating and sustaining a vibrant music program for the congregation, I asked Vice President Danny Green to convene a task force with three tasks:
- To discuss the possibilities of highlighting music during the 2012-2013 year;
- To review past recommendations by other committees and groups that have worked on musical programming and topics at JRC;
- To develop long-term goals that would guide the Board in this regard for the next five years.
During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, a diverse music task force worked on these items, holding many meetings, studying the topics at hand, reaching out for assistance to the Union for Reform Judaism, and eventually developing a mission and vision statement for music at Judea Reform, accompanied by a set of recommendations for the Board to consider.
In October, 2013, the Board of Trustees reviewed the recommendations from the music task force, and approved them as a path forward for musical leadership and life at Judea Reform. Highlights of the proposal include an emphasis on:
- Sustainability: Our Music program must be sustainable given our fiscal, physical, musical, and human resources.
- Intentionality: Musical choices should be made intentionally with guidance from the clergy as to how they will best fit the needs of worship, and guidance from music professional personnel or other trained musicians as to their musical suitability for participants
- Musicality: People who assist in leading worship or other musical events at the Synagogue or at our Religious School should be well-prepared, well-rehearsed, and dedicated to improving their abilities with given resources.
- Community: We should strengthen our community by striving to have increased interaction between the synagogue and the Religious School. We should continue to encourage our musical congregants who are less active in our weekly life to participate in events like Kabbalat Shabbat, Purim and Chanukah.
- Holiness: The goals should all combine to help create an atmosphere of holiness at our diverse worship services, allowing our congregants to experience Judea Reform as a place of prayer, study, and community.
- Accessibility: Care should be taken to ensure that we are offering diverse and accessible musical experiences to the wide array of people coming to Judea Reform.
- Teaching: Efforts should be made to educate members in new Jewish liturgical music, the place of music in Shabbat and Holy Day liturgy, and the continued training of our current and future lay musical leadership.
You can read the complete set of recommendations here. Though at this time, Judea Reform does not have the funding to hire a full-time music professional, the Board will use this set of recommendations to inform our work in hiring a Successor Rabbi, in budgeting, and in prioritizing programming for the congregation. Our clergy, staff, and committees have been encouraged to incorporate these recommendations into their work.
I am glad to share this important set of goals with you; this initiative crystallizes for me the dedication that our volunteers, clergy, and staff have in making our Judea Reform experiences richer in every way. I am very grateful to the people who spent many hours with this task force, and look forward to its work infusing our congregational life for years to come.