Temple Judea of Coral Gables, FL sought support to increase and improve the ways that the community engages and educates young children and their families. Consultant Dr. Emily Aronoff Teck worked in conjunction with Congregational Education Director, Early Childhood Center Education Director, Early Childhood Music Specialist/Tot Shabbat Leader, Rabbi/s, and community stakeholders.
The objectives of this process included:
- Examine all opportunities congregation offers this population to identify shared objectives, define the unique offerings of each program, streamline planning, and create consistency in content and messaging.
- Design and facilitate on-site programs to model replicable strategies, demonstrate a collaborative process, and provide opportunities for congregational staff and leadership to observe and practice ways to increase the efficiency and impact of the programs.
- Evaluate and articulate areas of strength and opportunities of growth that can be highlighted and utilized to maximize the use of available resources (time, talent, money, and space).
Emily Teck designed and facilitated four programs:
- Family Friendly Friday (Congregational Service)
- Workshop for Margeaux Early Childhood Center Staff
- Facilitation of a Margeaux School Shabbat Sing (with children and families)
- Tot Shabbat Service
Additionally, there were two days of on-site observations and meetings that included coaching sessions for music specialist, brainstorming meetings with education director, conversations with clergy, and evaluations of existing programs. At the conclusion of the consultation package, consultant compiled a final report detailing the programs facilitated, summarizing insights gleaned and outlining an action plan that reflects an integration of the collected data.
Conclusion from Final Report (excerpt):
Temple Judea is doing incredible work and the team members are each remarkable in their own ways. This project and the time and resources that TJ devoted to this exercise are testimony to the fact that young children and families are a priority in the community. The process highlighted that the skills and expertise necessary to increase and improve the ways that families with young children are invited to engage with Temple Judea are already present in the leadership- the challenge is for the team members to identify how to identify and prioritize the related tasks while they each juggle already full plates that demand their time, energy and expertise. The collaborative process of planning, facilitating and evaluating programs with your team yielded not only the practical suggestions that are outlined in this document, but conversations and revelations that can foster not only improvement of programs but amplification of impact.
Working with Emily on this project was a fantastic process of discovery and reflection. Emily was able to shine a light on things that were already going well and suggest adjustments that yielded significant impact. Through the consulting process we became aware of significant strategic and vision questions that had previously been hidden. Exploration of these topics has positively strengthened many aspects of our congregation.