Why are you doing this now?
When Marc became the new CEO and President of CJP in July 2018, we knew that it was a big moment for Greater Boston’s Jewish community. A transition of this kind doesn’t happen every day — in fact, Marc is the first new leader of CJP in more than three decades. It presented a rare opportunity to sit down and think deeply about what it means to be a Jewish federation in the 21st century, to truly be a thriving community made up of many other communities — Orthodox, Reform, LGBTQ+, interfaith, secular, religious, Kosher, Jew-ish, etc. The 360Five is an opportunity to discuss critical issues, to share viewpoints, perspectives, and worldviews. To have a strong and dynamic Jewish future, listening to as many people as we can is a critical first step.
What will you do with the findings?
First, we need to report to you what we’ve heard (thus, this website). From here, lay leaders and professional staff are evaluating the learnings against our strategic plan to determine the areas where CJP can make a difference.
What can you/can’t you do with what you’ve heard?
Overall, what we’ve heard is actionable. For example, a recurring complaint was lack of knowledge of existing opportunities. JewishBoston.com was designed to address this need. So, how can we maximize this tool for the greater community? That should be doable. However, there are other things we heard that are harder for us to address directly — like the lack of affordable benefits for preschool teachers, or “no great kosher delis” around.
You mentioned a strategic plan. Isn’t that going to dictate CJP’s direction and not the listening tour?
Definitely. The strategic plan dictates the “how” of CJP’s work — the role we play, and how we should function within this community. The 360Five was designed to help direct the “what” of CJP’s work. It is an opportunity to bring more of the community’s voice — particularly traditionally under-represented voices — into conversation to help prioritize our work.
Did the 360Five conversations produce information that was consistent with the strategic plan?
Yes. In many ways, the conversations we had affirmed our direction. But it also revealed gaps, and we’ll be looking to address those as we sharpen our focus.
Once the tour ends, how will Marc and CJP continue to listen?
Great question! As Marc has mentioned to each group he’s spoken to, if CJP is doing its job, we’re always on a listening tour. Right now, we are in the early stages of thinking through what a “360Five version 2.0” looks like. It’s clear that we are on to something with this effort — people want to be in conversation with us, and with each other. Our goal is to continue to be in direct conversation with the community. If you have ideas on how to do this, please share!
How can I learn more?
I didn’t participate in person. How can my voice be heard?
The five questions at the heart of The 360Five can be answered online by taking this survey.