Sulam for Strategic Planners - Pilot Cohort
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q. What is the goal of Sulam for Strategic Planners (SSP)?
A. SSP is United Synagogue’s new leadership initiative to guide congregational leaders through the process of assessing where they are and developing plans to get their kehillot to where they aspire to be in the future. SSP’s pilot cohort of 10 kehillot (congregations) will experience the process of strategic planning together. In addition to the webinars and resources available to everyone, this “Action Community” (group of strategic planners) will have in-person meetings, coaching calls and specialized materials that help them develop and implement a written strategic plan.
Q: Why sign up for the SSP Action Community?
A: SSP is designed to be systematic process for kehillot ready to create and implement a strategic plan. SSP provides a structure, timeline, and support for action and follow through. SSP is designed to empower the planning teams, who will own their own process and strategic plan creation.
Q: Who Participates in SSP?
All of the members of your strategic planning steering committee (SC) can participate. We encourage you to recruit a core group of 4-6 people, including the following leaders: your rabbi, president, incoming president, two strategic planning committee co-chairs and an executive director (if you have one). Moreover, it is helpful for your SC to include 6 to 8 other leaders, representing different skills, backgrounds, ages and genders.
Q: Who needs to be at the SSP training sessions?
Your rabbi and at least one chair must commit to attend the training sessions in order to be selected in the pilot cohort. We welcome you to send a team of up to 4 people.
Q: What are the desired outcomes of SSP?
Planning is designed to produce a set of outcomes. The goal of SSP is for every participating team to create written plans that help your kehilla thrive now and in the future. We also hope that you will be transformed by the process and emerge inspired to focus on the strategies that will make your vision a reality.
Q: What are some of the skills and exercises that will be taught in SSP?
During SSP participating leaders will learn to enlist the assistance of a steering committee, to conduct situation and SWOT analysis, to collect data about the congregation through surveys and focus groups, to write mission and vision statements, to develop strategies from the emerging themes from the data. We help you develop task forces based on these strategies and to write a SSP Final Report and a Kehilla Strategic Action Plan (KSAP) that will shape the next chapter of your kehilla’s history.
Q: What is the cost of SSP?
There is no charge from USCJ for the training sessions, webinars or the resource material for affiliated USCJ kehillot. Meals at training sessions are covered by United Synagogue. Kehillot must budget to cover the travel costs (flights, hotel, etc) of their leaders to go to two in-person training sessions. Please note that there is an additional registration fee for the Centennial Celebration, which will be discounted for the cohort. SSP is only open to USCJ affiliated kehillot in good standing.
Q: When and where are the SSP training sessions?
The initial training session will be May 19-20, 2013 at the USCJ office at 820 2nd Avenue in New York. [May 19th - 11:00 AM -7:00 PM; May 20th - 9:00 AM -2:00 PM]. The second training will take place on October 14-15 at United Synagogue’s Centennial Celebration in Baltimore, MD. The third session will be held in your kehilla. A USCJ Sulam staff leader will schedule a day in Spring 2014 to review your KSAP and help you plan for its implementation. We will work with your KRM to support your efforts going forward.
Q. When are applications due?
Applications are due on Friday, March 15th
. Participating kehillot will be notified by Tuesday, April 9th
. Please send a PDF of your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: If my kehilla is not ready to apply for the SSP cohort, can we still learn more about strategic planning?
Every USCJ kehilla is invited to participate in a “Learning Community” about strategic planning, in which we offer unique new resources, webinars and training exercises for leaders interested in cultivating strategic thinking and elements of planning in their board culture.