As I begin my fifth year as Executive Director of the J, I continue to be honored and privileged to serve our community, our membership, our staff, and our Board of Directors. Unlike the House of Representatives, our leadership election cycles land on odd years, so 2015 marks the conclusion of Connie Pesachowitz’s Presidential term, and the beginning of the Scott Brown administration. Connie and Scott share some common history: they both worked professionally at the J, moved on to other professional opportunities, and then returned to the J as lay leaders, culminating in the Presidency of the Board. It has been extremely valuable to all of us at the J to have such dedicated and experienced leadership at the helm. On Connie’s watch, we completed our strategic planning process, began some long overdue renovations to the facility and continued to strengthen our programming and financial stability. Now with the transition to Scott’s leadership, we have the opportunity to focus on the implementation of our strategic plan, continue to invest in our facility, and invest even more extensively in the engagement of our broader Jewish community. The plan is driven by a renewed vision statement, ten core values, and six broad strategies. I am pleased to be able to share the highlights with you now, and I would welcome more in-depth conversations with all of our interested members.
Guided by Jewish values, the JCCNV will spark, foster, and build Jewish Connection, Community, and Peoplehood throughout Northern Virginia by creating outstanding opportunities for every individual to explore the boundless potential of Jewish life. Understanding that our community is widely scattered, we will meet people where they are — both within and beyond the walls of the JCC.
Pride: We are proud to be a Jewish organization and want to imbue that pride in all we do.
Inclusion: We seek to be inclusive and to extend our reach so that we can bring Jewish vibrancy, connection, and community to Northern Virginia.
Inviting and embracing: We recognize that we are part of a diverse international community.
Respect and empathy: We will embrace all with respect and empathy.
Excellence: Through our Board and staff, we will demonstrate exceptional standards of professionalism and compassion.
Partnership: We will seek out connections and opportunities to partner, collaborate, and cooperate.
Israel: We will seek to build understanding and connection to the people, history, and future of Israel.
Tikkun Olam: At the heart of our Jewish community is our responsibility to repair the world.
Learning: We will continually expand our capacity to achieve our vision using new and expansive ideas.
Honesty and integrity: We will deal fairly and with transparency, showing consistency among principles, values, and behaviors while building trust through personal authenticity and following through on our commitments.
Our home is the Jewish community of Northern Virginia, and we will seek to reach our community in multiple ways through three Vision-based areas of strategic focus:
Strategy #1: Our building will be a vital component of Jewish life, learning, and culture in our community.
Strategy #2: We will bring the vitality of Jewish life, learning, and culture to our community, meeting people where they are.
Strategy #3: We will be innovative in programming that begins in our building and moves across Northern Virginia to include all segments of the community through collaboration, partnering, and coalitions. Programming will develop Jewish community that links us to each other, Israel, and Jews around the world. In order to be successful in our Vision-based strategies, we must build greater foundational strength. We will do that with three supporting strategies
Strategy #4: Development and Brandraising: We will implement a highly coordinated Board and staff development initiative that aggressively supports the Vision, Values, and Strategies
Strategy #5: Excellence in Governance: We will establish tools and practices to maximize Board effectiveness in support of the Vision and Values.
Strategy #6: Operational Excellence: We will align operations to support the plan. We will hire, train, and retrain staff to support the plan seeking the combinations of skills necessary to support the Vision and Values.
We are at varying stages of execution against these six strategies, but I would like to highlight one in particular. Strategy #5, Excellence in Governance, is dependent on identifying and recruiting the best possible lay leadership. I would like to commend the Leadership Development Committee, chaired by David Yaffe, which has selected and recruited the largest, most diverse class of new Board members since my arrival in 2011. This infusion of new energy and new perspectives, under the leadership of our new President, makes the JCC of Northern Virginia a very exciting place to work and play.
See you at the J,