#menorahfutures

Calling all Menorah members and friends!

There has been talk about #menorahfutures for several months and the four page report in Shofar summarises what it’s about: a good look at where we are and where we want to be as a progressive Jewish community. More than 50 years old, Menorah is thriving. However, nothing stands still, so the idea is to take the Community’s temperature, especially trying to engage those that are generally less-involved, to see what else can be done to sustain and enrich the dynamic and diverse Community we have.

Initial sessions were held in October, from which a four-page document was produced: “Flourishing in the Future: the Challenge of Change”. Hopefully you will find it interesting reading. Click here to read

Several proposals came from that initial work, and the intention is to use the next few months to get as many people as possible engaged and involved in discussions.

5 groups have been established, one for each strategy that at this early stage #menorahfutures suggests should be developed. We will update details on this page of the website as they come through.

The aspiration is to enthuse YOU to get involved in one of these groups, and so discuss anything and everything about #menorahfutures and in particular shape entirely the proposed strategy that might emerge in that area – so choose the one of most interest.

Below are initial details of the 5 groups. Details are bare as this is not pre-cooked: this email is inviting you to get in the kitchen and be a chef! Please email the contact and get stuck in !

(1) Services/Events. Contact: Andrew Pal,

Discussions in this group will focus on Menorah’s core as a religious community, coming up with ideas and plans to help explore and experience progressive Judaism, i.e. prayer, study, song, meditation and other practices. Though a lesser priority (as our programme is already really rich), the group will also look to develop Menorah’s secular communal and cultural life. Our aim is to be practical, launching and building on successful experiments, discarding those that don’t work. We will shortly hold an initial open meeting, please email for details.

(2) Care & Support. Contact: Steven Holt,

Our Community survives on volunteering, and so a big discussion for this group is a strategy to sustain that in a world where it is becoming less evident, and stresses and strains are already showing in Community events. The group is also about the great deal of Menorah care and support work that goes on under the radar, by some very dedicated members: how do we best ensure this work is sustainable over the long-term. Finally, it covers the tricky issue of trying to get more from our relationship with the Movement for Reform Judaism. If you would like to help think this all through, please volunteer for this group.

(3) Leadership. Contact: Baron Frankal,

The Leadership group is about developing a strategy for renewing our Community’s leadership, people and structures. For most people it may not be a page-turner, but it’s a vital pillar of success. So if portfolios, creating leadership roles that younger/working people can be central to, the question of whether to appoint a paid-Director or the powers of a Youth Board float your boat, do please email, as we would really like to have you involved in shaping thinking and coming up with solid proposals that will help sustain our Community through the next 50 years.

(4) Membership. Contact: Reuben Saffer,

The core of this group is probably going to be launching a project to drive Menorah to 1, 000 adult members over the next years, focusing on the right strategy and system to attract younger members, families, those new-to-Manchester and others. It’s also about widening our financial base, reinforcing the new youth programme, engaging with Jackson’s Row and building on existing initiatives, such as improving the welcome and glide-path for new members and reaching out to those furthest away in satellite communities. This group has a very clear target: please join us !

(5) Communications. Contact: Robert Shields,

Menorah has a good website, a wonderful community journal in Shofar, a new Twitter account & the odd article in the Jewish Telegraph. This group is about developing and implementing a strategy to enhance our communications, so we communicate in a more engaging way, especially about Menorah’s events, in the different media people use today to get news and views. There is a lot that Menorah does as a progressive Jewish Community that speaks to the things Menorites, friends and potential members care about and want to engage on – especially the under 50s – and this group is about having a louder voice reach more people. If you have expertise or interest, we really need your help ! This group is also helping to co-ordinate the broader #menorahfutures work.

Twitter_bird_logo_2012.svgYou can follow, join in and/or lead the conversation on Twitter – @menorahfutures.

Please direct any questions or comments or put your name down at #menorahfutures@menorah.org.uk We’d really like to hear from you!