Last Friday, the synagogue office was closed so that our entire staff could gather together for a day-long retreat. We focused on the intersection of two phrases in our Or Ami Vision and Values: We travel together down Jewish paths which inspire our hearts and souls and [these paths] transform us to seek justice and nurture compassion in the world. Our interns, program and office staff, youth advisor and clergy considered how our time at Or Ami inspires us, and therefore influences our ability to deepen the sense of community in the congregation.
We studied Jewish texts from different visions of Jewish community to tease out the many “Jewish paths” that lead people to authentic Jewish living. Answering the question, “besides giving to your family and friends, if you had $100,000 to give out, what would you do with it?” led us into a discussion about the centrality of tikun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (charitable giving) in our community.
I learned three things from this day of talking and tasting:
- We have an inspired, talented, compassionate staff who believe in and live the Vision and Values of Or Ami.
- Our staff sees themselves as working in sacred partnership to nurture caring, spirituality and community.
- Because we take such good care of our staff, they in turn are authentically able to take such good care of us.
Next time you are at the synagogue (or if you have a moment when you are at your computer), send a note of appreciation to individual staff members who have made your Or Ami experience particularly meaningful.