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Long Range Plan - Executive Summary

Havurah Shalom’s founding members were committed to creating a vibrant, participatory, diverse, welcoming Jewish community for their families.  When they first started gathering in 1978, no one could have predicted they were establishing an enduring congregation that would become the third largest in the Portland Metro area and an important center for progressive thought, learning and education.

Our latest Long Range Plan work has been an effort to identify who we are from a demographic view and also discover how members feel about our community’s mission and values, our wide range of programs and our current challenges.

The Long Range Plan process began during 2020 and has continued for close to two years.  You can find specifics about who was involved in developing and executing the process and congregational responses here.

Throughout the Long Range Plan process, we have been able to validate the values that guide our community leaders, members and staff. In the Havurah survey, we asked members to reflect on each of our values and identify their importance and how we are doing in living according to the values. The results of that question are in the chart below.


The chart shows that Havurah members feel that community, lovingkindness, tikkun olam, respect, inclusivity and sustainability are the most important values. We have the largest variation between the importance and how well we are living up to our values in the areas of inclusivity and sustainability.

Not surprisingly, most of the data collected by the Long Range Plan Committee has focused on the effects of the community’s growth, including specific challenges to our historical governance, staff, and participation models. Based on our data analysis efforts, these are the top recommendations from the plan that are being presented to the Steering Committee in January 2023.

1)   Consider/assess the sustainability of our participatory model with 500+ member households

2) Revisit how we welcome people – How are our systems set up to be welcoming and to encourage a sense of belonging?

3)  Continue and expand inclusivity and belonging focus through work of Anti-Racism and Belonging Task Force

4)  Continue to emphasize increasing space and staff to adequately support the size of our membership

5)  Create/invest in ongoing programs for 20’s and 30’s cohort

6)  Continue to provide resources for teen engagement, with an emphasis on social activities

7)  Create opportunities for younger members to feel encouraged and invited into leadership

8)  Evaluate the Shabbat School structure and the parent teaching model

9)  Consider/assess how our structure and policies impact those who feel they aren’t able to be full financial participants in our dues model

10)  Create opportunities for integration of Shabbat School and b’nei mitzvah into the Havurah community

11)  Consider how our aging population is impacting need for pastoral care and our financial sustainability

12)  Focus time and energy resources on finding parking solutions in the neighborhood

The links below will take you to more detailed information and a sample of graphs that show the dominant themes of the Long Range Plan findings.

  • Growth – How have we grown? How old are we? Where do we live?
  • Participation – How do current participation levels reflect this core value we share?
  • Staffing – With our recent growth, what staff support is needed for members?
  • Space – What do we think the next steps should be for ensuring we meet our needs for space?
  • Finances – How do we feel about membership dues?
  • Inclusivity – How are we doing in making sure members feel welcomed to the community?

Complete sets of graphs and charts capturing responses to the demographic census and the survey can be found here:

If you have questions about any of the material, please contact Sam Sirkin, Debbi Nadell or Adela Basayne.

Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784