We’ve Got 2020 Vision!

The challenge for our Strategic Planning team is to look ahead to the year 2020 – where do we want to be as a congregation, and how can we get there?

These are very important questions, and we need your help in order to answer them.

Please help us by answering a short survey about Congregation Beth Shalom.

To obtain your link to or hard copy of the survey, please contact the synagogue office at 727-531-1418.

Please be assured that your answers will be both anonymous and confidential. We are using an online tool called Survey Monkey to collect responses. They will tabulate the responses and send them to us. No one from CBS will know who gave which responses, or even who answered the survey.

Here are a few things you should know:

1. We want to hear from all adult members of our congregation. That includes your spouse or significant other, but not your adult children who live in your home (unless they pay their own dues).

2. We don’t always have email addresses for the second adult in a household. If your spouse or significant did not receive this email, please forward it to him or her.

3. As stated above, the survey is anonymous. If you get a reminder after you have completed the survey, it’s because we aren’t tracking individual responses.

4. This survey is for ALL of our members, but ONLY our members. In order for us to get the most accurate sense of what our members want, please don’t send this link to non-members.

5. You can help us by encouraging your friends to complete the survey and telling them how easy it is!

Thanks for your participation! We will be sharing the results of the survey in September. To that end, please complete the survey by September 3, 2014.

Strategic Planning Committee

David Sadowsky, President

Steve Shepard, Chair

Rabbi David Weizman, Alan Bomstein, Caren Evans, Elisa Hirschfield Leslie Freedman, Robrt Freeman, Randi Kraus, Robert Stoller

Letter to the Congregation

Dear Fellow Congregants:

As you may have heard, CBS is one of 10 synagogues across the country chosen by United Synagogue to participate in a year-long strategic planning process. Together with these other nine synagogues, we will be working with United Synagogue’s Sulam Leadership department in order to create a mission and vision, and the associated action steps, specific to our synagogue here in Clearwater, Florida.

We expect this process to take 12-18 months. To ensure that our synagogue can walk into the future with strength and with unity of and purpose, we will be seeking your help and your input in various ways. In August, we will be conducting an online survey to help assess our members’ needs and wants. Later in the year, we will be soliciting participation in task forces that will address specific subject areas.

Your input is of utmost importance. Each person’s survey will be confidential and we encourage each spouse or significant other in the household to fill one out. The results of the survey will be presented at future informational meetings and will be used in conjunction with other data to help plan our exciting future here at Congregation Beth Shalom.

We are very blessed and fortunate at Congregation Beth Shalom but blessings do not come so easily…we sometimes have to work to receive them! So when your survey arrives in your email inbox, please take the time (only about 15 minutes!) to fill it out. And when you are asked to participate in other ways, please assist us by giving freely of your time and your thoughts.
Thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:        What is Strategic Planning?

A:        Strategic Planning provides a framework for stating what we are and what we aspire to be, and a framework for getting there.

  • It’s a process for determining the handful of key decisions we must get right in order to thrive as an organization
  • It results in a set of statements describing our purpose and ethical conduct, along with specific strategies designed to achieve our targets for each of these.


Q:        Why are we doing it?

A:        Strategic Planning provides us with the opportunity to examine both the present and the future through the eyes of our key stakeholders.   Our goal is to produce a vibrant, proactive institution that will both serve and enhance our community.


Q:        Who is on the CBS Strategic Planning Committee?

A:        Steve Shepard chairs the committee.  Other members are Rabbi Weizman, David Sadowsky, Alan Bomstein, Caren Evans, Leslie Freedman, Robert Freedman, Elisa Hirschfield, Randi Kraus and Robert Stoller.


Q:        How will we go about it?

A:        Last year, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a Strategic Planning Committee to work with the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism’s program called Sulam for Strategic Planners (SSP).  CBS is one of ten congregations participating in the SSP program in 2014-2015.


Q:        What is Sulam for Strategic Planners?

A:        Sulam for Strategic Planners (SSP) is a United Synagogue initiative consisting of webinars, readings, in-person meetings and telephone coaching (framework) for ten participating congregations.  Sulam (which means “ladder” in Hebrew) is United Synagogue’s umbrella term for their leadership development series, which include Sulam for Presidents and Sulam for Emerging Leaders.


Q:        What is the timeline?

A:        Our goal is to present a Strategic Plan to the Board for adoption in 12-15 months.  Key interim milestones include:

  • Conducting a survey of members in August of 2014
  • Forming Task Forces to make recommendations in key areas in the Fall of 2014
  • Prioritizing our recommendation in the Spring of 2015
  • Reporting to the Board in the Summer of 2015


Q:        How can I help make the process a success?

A:        In order for us to meet our goals, we need everyone’s input.  Please respond promptly to the survey when it is launched in August, and please respond positively if you are asked to serve on a Task Force or participate in other ways.