I have taken on the role of leading (with another fellow) the “Adult Learning Committee” as it is named.
One of the questions that has been asked is “why is it when the temple puts on all these cool educational opportunities does the same 30 people always show up? Why is it that no one else comes?”
This is an interesting question about community. When you have a large group of people that affiliate with a synagogue or other organization, how do get people to come? There are plenty of reasons and excuses of why people do not take on these educational opportunities. However, this little committee really cannot answer the question of what it is that the community is looking for?
What if they stopped providing these educational programs would people notice? We do not know.
So what I have asked the people on the committee to do is go out and talk to five people. I want them to start with finding out what the persons relationship to Judaism is. I want to where are people coming from? What is the context of their lives?
From here we will start mapping out what people are interested in. What I am positing is that this process of listening will help define what kind of things we should be offering to bring more people in? How? I think the future will emerge from these conversations and we can look backwards at today and say “what do we need to do to move us toward where people want us to be?”
I think we should be able to get every adult involved in a learning opportunity over the year. My guess is that is around 1000 people.