The Ambassadors are leaders from Temple Emanu-El Tucson and Congregation Or Chadash charged with exploring the possibilities of greater collaboration. This team is looking at how we may benefit and what would be involved if we were to join our two synagogues. Representatives from Temple Emanu-El are Scott Arden, Mona Gibson, Steve Tofel, Joe Millstone, and Brie Finegold. Or Chadash representatives are Elaine Jones, Ben Vogel, Dana Adler, and Gary Kippur. We’ve been meeting each month, most recently on September 5th. Our next meeting will be shortly after Yom Kippur.

The Ambassadors are committed to ongoing communication with our boards and congregants about our activities.

To date, we’ve created 8 task forces with representative members from both congregations. Each one addresses a topic of mutual interest: 1) Facilities, 2) Governance, 3) Worship, 4) Finance, 5) Rabbinic, 6) Communications, 7) Joint Programming, and 8) Religious School. Their first objective is to envision a future
in which our congregations may be joined. They are not detailing exactly how our future might unfold. Each task force is charged with issuing a report in the fall. These reports are intended to provide our congregations with sufficient information to vote on next steps. Each synagogue plans to present task-force findings by the end of 2019 in preparation for decision making in January 2020. We aim for congregants to make the important decision using all available information.

In the meantime, we are continuing with joint programming to get better acquainted. Temple Emanu-El is extending an invitation to Congregation Or Chadash for Second Day Rosh Hashanah on Tuesday, October 1 at 10 a.m. at Temple Emanu-El. Rabbi Appel and Rabbi Louchheim will conduct those services together. Other joint programming is planned between our Sisterhoods, Social Justice Committees, and Religious Schools.

We created an email specifically for congregants questions or comments; JewishTucson@gmail.com.