In last week’s report, the Ambassadors explained the national and local trends weakening synagogue affiliation. This resulting decrease in membership places a financial burden on our congregations and limits the services and programming we are able to provide.

However, Or Chadash and Temple have a history of sharing core values, sharing in the vision of Reform Judaism and sharing a love of worship, music, youth engagement and social action. The Ambassadors’ conversations have brought to light many similarities and successful collaborations. Our initial Task Forces have been asked to explore specific areas to identify the shared vision, cultural similarities, as well as any significant hurdles to the possibility of a joint partnership.

The initial Task Forces created were designed to explore the following: 1) Facilities, 2) Governance, 3) Worship, 4) Finance, 5) Clergy, 6) Communications, 7) Joint Programming, and 8) Religious Schools. Each task force is comprised of individuals from each congregation (see participants below); and their charge is to envision the benefits and issues that could occur by joining together. We will communicate their findings by the end of 2019, and provide you with this information by email and in Town Hall meetings. Our small focus group meetings are to listen to you and hear your observations.

Task Force Congregation Or Chadash Temple Emanu-El
Finance Mark Ross
Gary Kippur
Jerry Cohen
Jeff Rein
Scott Arden
Real Estate/Fixed Assets/Facilities Mo Riback
Lanny Colton
Andy Seleznov
Jim Liebeskind
Steve Tofel
Ron Schneider
Bill Viner
Worship/Services Kathylynn Saboda
Cantor Janece Cohen
Sarah Bollt
Susan Winkler
Harold Blatter
Andy Iventosch
Amy Ruskin
Marjorie Hochberg
Clergy Rabbi Thomas Louchheim
Emily Joseph
Rabbi Batsheva Appel
Scott Arden
Joe Millstone
Governance Harriet Kronman
Howard Paley
Simon Rosenblatt
Mona Gibson
Joint Efforts/Collaborations Rina Liebeskind
Elaine Jones
Donna Beyer
Communication/Outreach Gary Kippur
Elaine Jones
Scott Arden
Mona Gibson
Religious Schools Rina Liebeskind
Suzie Stadheim
Jill Sobieszyk
Abby Limmer
Brie Finegold
Alison Neja
Marla Harris
Jared Rubin

Join us for any and all of the following meetings to discuss the findings of the various Task Forces that were charged with envisioning the benefits and issues that could occur by joining together:

  • Sunday, Nov 3: 11-12N- Reports from the Finance & Governance Task Forces
  • Sunday, Nov 17: 11-12N- Reports from the Facilities and Religious School Task Forces
  • Sunday, Dec 8: 11-12N- Reports from the Worship and Clergy Task ForcesNOTE: Voting will be in January 2020

As always, we appreciate your concern, commitment and passion that you bring to this conversation. Please send your thoughts and comments to our shared email account at (Please note: our shared email address ends with .com and it was identified incorrectly as ending in .org in the last weekly update.). We look forward to our continued conversations and everything you bring to our congregation.