Strategic Planning Update
Beth Tzedec
May 20th 2016

May 20—We had an excellent response to the strategic planning survey, receiving 979 surveys from approximately 2,500 Beth Tzedec member families, including input from former members and children of members who chose to leave Beth Tzedec. The survey information will provide solid feedback to add to the other data we have collected as part of the strategic planning process.

To develop the survey, we started by looking at numerous online surveys used by other Jewish organizations and synagogues in particular. We also looked at a variety of sample surveys provided by The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Our goal was to design a survey that would take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete and allow for personal comments. In deciding what to include, we focussed on what we thought was essential information, to allow us to learn about our members, the nature of their involvement with Beth Tzedec, and how Beth Tzedec can better meet their needs and expectations over the next five years. We also included questions specifically relating to the preparation for our search for a new Rabbi, in anticipation of Rav Baruch's retirement in 2019.

Although the survey is closed, we always welcome hearing from you by email to

Carolyn Kolers and Larry Wallach

May 5—Beth Tzedec is fortunate to have many accomplished and insightful people serving on the Strategic Planning Committee. But with a committee of 18 chaired by a past president and a current Board/Executive member, we wanted to ensure that whenever we gathered information or discussed issues, we retained some objectivity.

Therefore, all of our visioning sessions, focus groups, data collection processes and committee meetings were and are directed by two external consultants from a pro bono consulting service that's been working with GTA not-for-profit corporations in the GTA since 1993. Last year, their volunteer consultants completed over 200 projects for Toronto non-profit organizations.

Of our two consultants, one retired from a senior position at CIBC and has been working in the area of strategic planning, governance and outcome measurement for the last 14 years. The second consultant retired from a senior position at one of the largest global market research firms and has spent countless hours assisting in the creation of our membership survey and

the preliminary interpretation and analysis of its results from the 979 responses we received.

Although the Survey is closed, we always welcome hearing from you. Email us at

Carolyn Kolers and Larry Wallach

April 21—
Thank you to all the members who responded to the Beth Tzedec Membership Survey. 979 survey responses were submitted, which was a terrific response. 

Over the past few months, we also conducted about 30 formal and informal meetings in both group and individual settings with members of all ages, our staff, our Klei Kodesh, all directed and facilitated by the outside consultants who are guiding our planning. In all of these efforts, we have encouraged participation and honoured our commitment to confidentiality and anonymity.

The Strategic Planning Committee (18 shul members from the Board and our membership at large) will be taking your input and the other internal and external data that's been collected and, with the direction of our outside consultants, will develop a draft five-year strategic plan for presentation to the Board. While these planning meetings continue, we welcome your comments and suggestions. Please email uswe would be happy to follow up with a call if you prefer. 

Until then, a Joyous and Zissin Pesah!

Carolyn Kolers and Larry Wallach, Co-Chairs