Summary of Strategic Engagement Plan
To ensure a vibrant and engaged Jewish community for the future, JFSA will serve as a convener, facilitator and partner in collaboration with the Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish History Museum, agency and synagogue partners to attain the shared vision through implementing the overarching goals, cross-cutting initiatives and priority programs.
Engagement Plan Goals
Goal #1: Ensure a continuum of social, cultural, religious, spiritual and educational
programming that increases/optimizes engagement at every age and stage and inspires deepening commitment to Jewish life.
Goal #2: Increase access to quality formal and informal Jewish experiences by removing barriers and facilitating engagement.
Goal # 3: Strengthen coordination, collaboration and communication between Federation, agencies and synagogues in order to significantly increase engagement of all Jews in Southern Arizona.
Goal #4: Strengthen marketing and communication through effective utilization of technology as a platform for engagement.
Cross-Cutting Initiatives Benefiting the Whole Community
To implement the goals, seven cross-cutting initiatives were identified. While each could stand alone, all seven together could maximize success. The overall effectiveness could be enhanced by creating a seven-pronged approach in their implementation.
1. Establish a Leadership Roundtable comprised of JFSA, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish History Museum, Agency and Synagogue lay, clergy and professional leadership
2. Investment in Technology as a Platform for Engagement
3. Concierge Approach to Facilitate Connections and Transitions
4. Comprehensive Volunteer Strategy to Facilitate Engagement
5. Passport to Jewish Life
6. Augment Current Leadership & Board Development
7. Optimize engagement through a continuum of informal and formal programming and services geared towards every age and stage
III. Implementation Guidelines and Next Steps
The strategic engagement plan lays out a bold new vision, overarching goals, cross-cutting initiatives, and a multitude of programmatic ideas for target age groups across the continuum. The key thrust of this plan is for JFSA, JCF, agencies and synagogues to work collaboratively and strategically to engage large numbers of unaffiliated Jews and deepen the engagement of all Jews in Southern Arizona.
A consensus exists among the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and Task Force members that the cross-cutting initiatives interrelate and augment one another, and once implemented, will have the potential to significantly enhance engagement across all ages and stages. While all these initiatives are viewed as important to increasing engagement, some will require more resources for implementation thus funds will need to be raised to support priority initiatives.
As with any good plan, success will depend on the level of commitment to act on implementing the plan. JFSA, JCF, agency and synagogue professionals and lay leadership will need to work together to raise necessary funds, implement the recommendations, monitor progress and adapt the plan based on ongoing and evolving needs. Agencies and synagogues will also be encouraged to be proactive in implementing innovative new programs such as those listed in the engagement plan that have a high potential for impact utilizing internal institutional resources. In addition, JFSA will need to work in collaboration with JCF to identify and secure funding sources for priority initiatives and programs.
To facilitate success, the following actions will serve to guide the work of the lay and professional leadership through the implementation phase:
Board adoption of the plan – The draft plan should be presented to the JFSA board for review and adoption. This will serve to educate the Board about the plan’s contents, importance of championing the implementation of the vision, goals and cross-cutting initiatives outlined in the plan, and supporting and reinforcing the transformation of the community culture to one of unity and collaboration.
Generate stakeholder input and support – Sharing the plan with key stakeholders and community members is important to broadly inform, obtain feedback, and use as a tool for engagement and support during implementation. The plan should be shared with questionnaire respondents, focus group participants and interviewees, Strategic Planning Steering Committee and task force members, agency and synagogue boards, community professionals, and members of the Jewish community at large. A number of mechanisms may be employed for this purpose including placing it on the JFSA website, organizing one or more town meetings, and presentations at agency and synagogue board meetings.
Appoint a small Strategic Engagement Implementation (SEI) Oversight Team – Effective planning is not an act but rather a continuous process of planning, implementation, evaluation and adjustment. In order to make this a living document, the action plan should be further developed, and reviewed quarterly to monitor progress, measure its impact and decide where changes need to be made. To this end, JFSA should appoint a small team of 3-5 seasoned lay leaders to monitor and oversee the implementation of the plan in coordination with the Leadership Roundtable. The SEI Oversight Team should be comprised of leaders who are committed to raising the resources and championing the implementation of the Strategic Engagement Plan.
Develop implementation plans and phase in the initiatives over a three year period – For many of the cross-cutting initiatives, work groups should be formed as needed to gather representative practices, develop detailed implementation plans and responsibilities, resource needs and estimated costs. Special consideration should be given to phasing in the initiatives based on the availability of staffing and financial resources. During Year 1, the Steering Committee recommends focusing on creating the new Leadership Roundtable, the Concierge Approach and developing and implementing a new Technology Platform for engagement. Working in consultation with members of the Leadership Roundtable, the Federation will take the lead on developing detailed action plans and implementing these initiatives during 2013-2014. Once progress has been made and momentum builds with the first three initiatives JFSA, together with members of the Leadership Roundtable, can focus on designing and implementing the remaining cross-cutting initiatives including creating a new Passport to Jewish Life, enhancing Board and Leadership Development, creating a comprehensive Volunteer Strategy, and Optimizing Programming Engagement across the Continuum. Implementation of all the initiatives will be dependent on the availability of resources. The Leadership Roundtable will be involved in the design of cross-cutting initiatives, any community-wide programs and new programs targeted at engaging particular age groups.
Secure the necessary resources – JFSA will work in partnership with JCF, agencies and synagogues to identify potential funding sources and raise the necessary funds to support the cross-cutting initiatives from multiple income streams. Source may include supplemental gifts, annual campaign allocations, foundation resources, corporate and government grants. If raising supplemental gifts, it is best to secure sufficient funds for a three year period so that the initiative (e.g. the development of a new community-wide website) can be fully implemented, gain traction and yield results. One option would be for JFSA and JCF to launch a new community grants process with clear guidelines and criteria to stimulate the development of new engagement programming.
Align JFSA processes, human and financial resources – JFSA should examine its internal processes, priorities and resource allocations, design new processes, and modify the allocation of human and financial resources as needed to support the implementation of priority strategies and programs outlined in the plan.
Work collaboratively with community partners to implement the strategic engagement plan – The Leadership Roundtable should convene on a regular basis to share information, engage in planning and strategy development especially around cross-cutting initiatives and to address issues and challenges that emerge in order to increase engagement in Jewish life and ensure a vibrant community.
Proceed promptly and deliberately – Once detailed implementation plans are approved and funding is secured, implementation of the strategies should begin. The goal is to have ready more detailed implementation plans for priority cross-cutting initiatives by Fall, 2013. This will create momentum for change and demonstrate a powerful shared commitment to implementing the recommendations outlined in the plan.