Description of the Systems and Changes

Undertaken by the One Family Initiative

 

Name Badges – Name badges have been made for every adult member of the congregation including our Seasonal Affiliates.  They are housed in a beautiful cabinet in the front lobby of our building.  The badges have been well received; our members have become accustomed to wearing them in the building and returning them to the cabinet as they leave.  Clip-on or lanyard style name badges are also available for guests.

Shabbat Dinners – Those who have hosted or attended home-held Shabbat Dinners have reported very positive experiences.  They report meeting new people, developing new relationships, and strengthening existing friendships. A new, visible depiction of these dinners is on display in the hallway across from the Perman Library. These “Shabbat Dinner Trains”, with host names on the engines and guest names on the cars, provide a visual representation of each dinner.  As new dinners are held, new trains will be added.  If those who attended a dinner then host a dinner, the connection will be shown.  We look forward to watching these Shabbat Dinner Trains grow!

New Member Engagement – This past year, in addition to the annual New Member Potluck Shabbat Dinner in January, an orientation program was held in December to give our new members an opportunity to meet with our clergy, professional staff, administrative staff, and some of our lay leaders.  The program featured a tour of the building including the school areas, office areas, library, chapel, sanctuary, social hall, and kitchen.  In addition, our Engagement Coordinator and Concierge, a member of our Temple staff, has been in contact with the new members to help integrate them into the congregation.  New members from last fiscal year and this year are also among the congregants being included in this year’s one-on-one conversations. 

Seasonal Affiliate Engagement – A Seasonal Affiliate Potluck Shabbat Dinner was held in March.  It has been suggested that this event be held earlier in the winter season next year to give the Affiliates an opportunity to meet one another closer to their arrival in Southwest Florida.

Affinity GroupsOne group, the Empty Nester, has been formed.  They have identified likely congregants who might want to participate, held meetings, and discussed program ideas.  The Empty Nesters group enjoyed a Passover seder and a sunset cruise together in Spring, 2016.  Plans are being developed for the 2016-17 year.

Technology Additions

  • Streaming Video – The recording of events taking place in the sanctuary was used for the first time for High Holiday services, 2015.  The streaming and archiving of services are available through the Temple website and can be viewed by those unable to attend our services.  Any event taking place in the sanctuary can be recorded and archived.  The recordings can be made available through the website or can be closed and designated for a specific group.  The reports from those who have viewed events from the website have been extremely favorable, being very much appreciated by those who were not in town at the time of the event and by those who were unable to attend due to illness.
  • iTemple – This internet platform, available only to Temple members, is designed as a member-driven system of connection and communication.  Members sharing a similar interest (such as golf, needlework, books, etc.), special interest groups (such as committees, religious school class parents and teachers, Temple Board, etc.) can connect and communicate using this platform.  For nearly a year, iTemple has been in use by some Temple groups.  After identifying program issues that needed adjustment, iTemple was made available to the entire congregation in February, 2016.

  • The Hearing Loop – This hidden wire loop is designed to be used by individuals using hearing aids equipped with a telecoil.  Loop technology enhances the experience of individuals with hearing loss by providing sound as it is transmitted from the microphone, eliminating background noise.  Sound is amplified using the specifications of the individual’s own hearing aid, providing quality sound for the user.  In September 2016 and January 2017 orientation programs will be held to demonstrate this technology to those who can benefit from its use.

Techie Tutors –The iTemple platform (above), now available to the whole congregation, provides a great opportunity for members to connect.  It is anticipated that many of our members will require assistance in learning to use this platform.  The Techie Tutor structure will be used to provide this assistance.  Currently, members of the congregation who are users of technology, are being sought to be trained as “tutors” to lead workshops or to work one-on-one with Temple members requesting assistance. The tutors will be trained by our Director of Communication, Jeanette Fischer, and the workshops will be organized through the Techie Tutor structure.

Many Stories – This initiative began forming in Spring and Summer of 2015 with training workshops for potential volunteer Conversation Leaders.  Each Conversation Leader was asked to call four to six members of the congregation and to set up a meeting time and place for the purpose of engaging in one-on-one conversations.  These conversations include the sharing of stories, interests, passions, and ideas for Temple activities.  The purpose of these conversations is to create new relationships, strengthen existing relationships among our members, and to identify needed areas of programming.  New members beginning July, 2015, were among those called.  More volunteers are needed to initiate the one-on-one conversations.  To date, callers have reported good experiences and have identified programming needs.

Perman Library – This space was reconfigured and redecorated to be, not only the home of our lending library, but the location of the Temple Bean, our coffee station.  It is beautifully designed to be connection friendly, with seating conducive to conversation and engagement and small group meetings.

Tribute Garden – The creation of the garden area adjacent to the Social Hall, presented to the congregation Fall, 2015, is a welcome improvement to the front of our building.  The garden is expected to be a space for meditation and quiet conversation.  Additions to the garden will be benches, plants, and pavered walkways, all of which can be used as stimulators for fundraising.

Shabbat  Senior Transport – A new service beginning September, 2016, is transportation for Erev Shabbat services to and from Seniors homes for those who do not drive or do not drive at night.  This service is available through our Concierge.  Reservations can be made by Wednesday, 2 PM; cancellations are requested by noon on Friday.

Hospitality Hosts (previously referred to as Ambassadors) – A recent addition to the One Family Initiative, still in development, is the plan for welcoming members and visitors to our Temple home for Shabbat services and events.  On a weekly basis, in addition to the Shabbat Greeters located either outside the front door or inside the lobby as attendees enter, Hospitality Hosts will be placed at locations on the front walk, at the table where visitors name badges are available, at the cabinet where members name badges are kept, and in the sanctuary.  They will welcome attendees, assist with name badges, introduce newcomers to other attendees, assist with seating, and locate prayer books as needed.  Even though all of our members are encouraged to be inclusive at the Oneg, the Hospitality Hosts will be specifically responsible to ensure that no one is alone as we gather and schmooze.  In other words, the goal is to make certain that everyone who attends services and events at Temple Shalom has a warm welcome, a sense of inclusion, and a “friendly” experience. 

If you have questions, want further information, or would like to join in any part of our One Family process, please feel free to contact Neil, Tussy, or Bobbie at templeshalomonefamily@gmail.com or gbkatz5804@aol.com.