Operations: A Vision for the Future
Operations: A Vision for the Future
All whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings for the Tent of Meeting and its service… --- Exodus 35:21
In order to provide the foundation to fulfill Beth Am’s mission, we seek to be financially strong, with outstanding facilities, modern enabling technology, engaged lay leadership, and outstanding clergy and staff. We aspire to plan and execute our operations in a manner consistent with the highest Jewish values: honesty, fairness, compassion and respect for all. Mindful of our duty to manage congregational resources ethically, efficiently and responsibly, staff and lay leaders will use their time, skills and funds to advance the mission of our congregation.
We will maintain our financial strength through careful planning and appropriate controls, routinely achieving a balanced budget aligned with our values and priorities. We will prepare for economic uncertainty by maintaining appropriate reserves, including endowments. In the tradition of Beth Am’s founders, who envisioned a congregation accessible to all, regardless of means, we will establish flexible dues models which welcome people of all financial levels, recognizing that those models may need to evolve over time. We will continue to encourage our congregants to embrace a culture of philanthropy, viewing Beth Am as a worthy recipient of their gifts.
A primary responsibility of Beth Am’s leaders is to protect and enhance our buildings and grounds. Our beautiful facilities are designed to foster spirituality, encourage a sense of community, and provide comfortable, welcoming spaces for worship, learning and communal gathering for all ages. We recognize the need for flexible spaces to accommodate groups of any size or purpose – intimate conversations, large assemblies and everything in between. We are committed to making all parts of our campus accessible to our congregants and visitors, regardless of physical ability, and to ensuring that transportation and parking do not create barriers to participation. We will continue to develop Beth Am’s library as a valuable center for Jewish learning for all ages. Mindful of the legacy of our founding architect, Goodwin Steinberg, who designed buildings in harmony with the natural environment, we will continue to implement environmentally sustainable practices and materials in all our operations.
We will introduce modern information management and communications capabilities that will allow us to better understand and reach out to congregants, strengthen relationships within the congregation and improve our programs. Even as technology allows us to learn more about our congregants, we will maintain safeguards to protect their privacy. Diverse communication channels allow us to share our message not only within our community but beyond it. We will continue to utilize broadcast capabilities, such as live video streaming of services, classes and events, that allow us remain connected with congregants who are distant or have limited mobility, and to introduce non-members to our congregation.
We will continue to strengthen our democratic and participatory leadership structure, based on a deep lay-professional partnership, and the highest standards of respectful and caring behavior. We aim to provide many opportunities for lay leadership and volunteer activities in support of the congregation’s mission, all of which receive appropriate training, support, guidance, and recognition. We work consciously to sustain our Beth Am culture, in which board service is viewed as an honor and a pleasure, and will continue to recruit and cultivate a large pool of diverse, talented members to provide future leadership for the congregation. The Board of Directors actively seeks broad input from the membership, and is accessible and responsive to members' concerns. We proudly continue the long tradition of Beth Am leadership in the Reform Movement, and encourage our lay and professional leaders to participate in the movement’s projects and gatherings.
Beth Am’s success rests on the people who are here every day. We want to ensure that we retain and engage outstanding clergy, professional and support staff, and to help them feel deeply valued by the congregation. Our goal is that Beth Am should be viewed as a premier employer, providing our staff with helpful guidance and support, opportunities for professional growth, competitive compensation and benefits, and the tools and resources to succeed. Mindful of the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley, we will work to find creative solutions to aid in retaining and recruiting outstanding professionals to serve our congregation, and to provide financial options that allow our senior staff to purchase homes that meet their needs.
Every element of our operations creates the foundation for fulfilling our congregational mission: We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to “do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).