Why did you create The 360Five?
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 was 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 was a critical first step.
What are you doing with the findings?
We are reporting to you what we 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 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 was 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.
How will Marc and CJP continue to listen?
This winter, we are launching Conversations for Action: a community-wide, problem-solving collaboration. Once again, Marc, along with his colleagues, will hold sessions throughout Greater Boston. We will report back on what we heard, share how CJP has addressed some key issues, and use our time together to find solutions to one seemingly simple but multi-faceted question: “How can we become a more welcoming Jewish community?” Sessions begin in December and continue through Spring 2020. If you’d like to join an event near you, browse session dates and locations.
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.