Dear Fellow Congregants,
I hope this message finds you well during these challenging times. We are pleased to share the latest updates regarding our exploratory process for the opportunity to join The Temple-Tifereth Israel as one congregation.
Since mid-September, we have engaged in meaningful conversations with many of you about our vision for creating an innovative, multi-generational congregation where everyone feels welcome. Together, we have the potential to strengthen our congregation, enhance programs, engage with more members, and attract new ones. We are immensely grateful to all those who attended our town hall meetings, sent emails, and asked thoughtful questions.
The feedback we have received has been invaluable. Many of you had similar questions, ranging from how a merger would impact religious education and lifecycle events to how it would strengthen our Reform Judaism movement and where we would worship. To address these and many other questions, we have attached a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Here are the highlights of our next steps in the process:
- Our joint task force has developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which reflects our areas of alignment: a clergy team led by Rabbi Rob Nosanchuk, a unified home at the current The Temple-Tifereth Israel building, a unified educational program, a unified administrative operation and team, unified finances to support a combined congregation, and one unified Board. Both Executive Committees will vote on the MOU on November 7. If they approve it, the Boards of both Temples will meet to discuss and vote on the MOU on November 27. If the Boards approve the MOU, we will hold a congregational vote regarding unification, in the next few months. We are currently planning the logistics for the vote and will provide additional details in the near future.
- We will be offering more opportunities to hear from clergy from both Temples, connect with congregants from both Temples and share additional information. On November 17, each Temple will have visiting clergy from the other Temple for a Shabbat of Gratitude, giving us an opportunity to connect and engage on a spiritual level just before Thanksgiving.
- On December 3, our Temples will host a joint Conversation with Clergy at The Temple-Tifereth Israel. This gathering will allow you to listen in as clergy from both Temples talk with each other, tell their personal journeys, and share their hopes for the future. Immediately following the conversation, we will have the opportunity to chat with the clergy and fellow congregants from The Temple-Tifereth Israel, and we be able to tour The Temple-Tifereth Israel.
A lot of work, thought, and care has gone into the last six weeks since your last update. We have learned more about The Temple-Tifereth Israel, and we have seen tremendous potential for a shared future with a stronger, combined community. We encourage you to engage with us at the upcoming events to learn more about this exciting vision for the future and to build new connections with our fellow members of the Cleveland Jewish community.
Thank you for being an essential part of our congregation. We value your input and support as we look forward to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.