A Short Brief by Barry


President Barry Deutsch has so much to say and not always the forum to do so. Please visit his blog from time to time and see what he has to say on a variety of topics.

Other Posts
Temple Menorah President's Weekly Message
Recent Surveys - Why so Many Here at Temple Menorah

Taking the Surveys at Temple Menorah

You’re probably wondering why so many surveys recently.

I apologize for the flurry of activity around soliciting your opinion.


I promised you when I became President, we were going to embark upon a journey together of building upon the foundation that Rabbi Silver established over the last 30 years, and Re-Kindle our Menorah Flame around the energy, passion, and excitement that is part of belonging to the Temple Menorah community. As stakeholders, stockholders, investors, and members of Temple Menorah, your input, ideas, thoughts, and recommendations are very important to crafting our journey together, setting our priorities, and transforming our culture into a more caring, warm, and welcoming Congregation.

Only a year ago, you received a survey about your thoughts regarding the hiring of a new Rabbi. Your comments, thoughts, and recommendations were insightful, and lead us to the hiring of an extraordinary individual, Rabbi Leah Lewis, who will be starting as our Senior Rabbi on July 1st. Our Rabbinical Search Committee, under the leadership of Aaron Krouse, used the survey results as a guiding light in their work.

A week ago, you received a survey from the Union of Reform Judaism, seeking your thoughts about our Congregation, leadership, and vision. This survey is part of a national pilot project of 50 Congregations looking to improve their leadership, strategy, and culture. It’s one of three parts. Part one is the survey you received. Part two is a Board of Trustees Self-Assessment on how well we are working to meet the needs of our Congregation. Part three is a financial and operational tool looking at cost structure, program revenue, and efficiency/productivity metrics. All three of these tools will be used to compare Temple Menorah to other congregations, both locally and nationally. I am very proud of being selected to participate in this national pilot program of benchmarking.

Children learning at Temple Menorah Religious SchoolIf you are a Religious School parent, a few days ago you received a survey regarding your impressions and thoughts about our Religious School program. We are about to embark upon a project to first “Re-Imagine Religious School”, and secondly, “Re-Imagine Congregational Education” for everyone. One of our key goals is to help all our Temple Members – adults, teens, and children to move along their Jewish Journey through meaningful education.

On June 11th, some of our professional staff and lay leadership, such as Evy Jacobsen, our Religious School Committee Chair, and current Vice President of Education; Ronnie Glassman, our incoming Vice President of Education; Randi Sher, our Director of Religious School; Rabbi Leah Lewis, our new Rabbi; and myself as President, will be attending a conference jointly run by the Union of Reform Judaism, Hebrew Union College, and the Bureau of Jewish Education on “Re-Imaging Religious School”. I am hopeful that we will be chosen as one of the congregations to participate in this transformation project. Your ideas, thoughts, comments, and recommendations through that survey will play an enormous role in shaping our Religious School strategy, curriculum, and action steps.

I apologize in advance for the timing of these last two surveys – the URJ Congregational Survey and our Religious School Survey – coming so closely together. Taking a few minutes to fill these surveys is critical to our leadership and professional staff in charting our path forward, and ensuring we are responsive to your needs, desires, and expectations.

If you could please complete these surveys over the next few days, it would be very much appreciated. We’ll compile a report so that you can see the results of the surveys. Perhaps, we should schedule a town hall to discuss the results and consider our journey together through a public discussion in evolving, improving, and transforming Temple Menorah.

Barry Deutsch
Temple Menorah