This page features survey results from an April 2022 survey that went to all of our Kehilla members called “Surveying Our Priorities.” We received 250 responses. The results below are a long document. You can peruse the results according to the following sections list. Click on a section to be taken to the corresponding portion of this page. You can scroll up to the top of this page to select a different section.


 

Surveying Our Priorities – April 2022 – Survey Results

I. CHARTS

II. IF YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND A WHILE, WHAT KEEPS YOU ENGAGED?

III. SHABBAT SERVICES ACCESS COMMENTS

IV. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING NOT RENEWING, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY?

V. IF YOU ARE NEW TO KEHILLA, WHAT DREW YOU TO KEHILLA?

VI. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD

 


 

I. CHARTS

 

II. IF YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND A WHILE, WHAT KEEPS YOU ENGAGED?

PROGRESSIVE COMMUNITY WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE VALUES AND ACTION

  • Social action, politically & “jewishly” accessible services, vibe, community
  • The people, political action
  • The values of Kehilla
  • Great community, social justice lens, innovations
  • I appreciate what K stands for 
  • Putting my values into practice
  • I am not very engaged and hope to be more engaged at some point. I appreciate and need a synagogue like Kehilla that aligns with my social justice and anti-zionist values
  • Appreciate social justice work being done in my name
  • Social justice work and music
  • The mission and the people and grappling with Judaism. 
  • I love our community. I love how we live our values (or at least try). I love the music and spirit. 
  • My engagement is partly due to the history of the congregation and what it has stood for
  • The loving community, the radical politics, the radical services and jewish education
  • Being part of a group of like-minded Jews engaged in social justice work. Including immigration/Accompaniment team, our community presence, high holidays… Also, our family has greatly appreciated the life cycle events for ourselves & our friends at Kehilla: bat mitzvahs, funerals, shivas… 
  • Social Justice work, meditation, Dev
  • I respect the political work you do.
  • Social Action + spiritual events
  • Supportive, inclusive community creatively engaged with spiritual practice, social action and Jewish learning. Core values embraced which I support
  • Community and committees 
  • immigration committee work, community that i’ve built at kehilla, services
  • Kehilla’s focus on social justice issues.
  • Kehilla is my only synagogue.  I’ve never been part of any other.  It’s my spiritual home and a wonderful social and political community.  I have become very separate during the pandemic, mostly because I have too many zoom events and not enough human contact.
  • I like the new leadership and after the pandemic, I am also interested in returning to actual community-building events. I think the immigration work at kehilla is amazing and my partner loved the class with Rabbi Dev. The social justice work and increasingly the fact that you attract younger congregants are all a plus for me.
  • Putting my values into practice, learning about my spiritual traditions, and the community!
  • Social justice work
  • Kehilla’s emphasis on tikkun olam through economic & social justice work in our community and in the wider world, and through anti-racism education within our congregation.
  • I have looked at other communities, when I started to see a shift in Kehilla towards, what I call some religion with social justice.  It used to be some social justice with my religion; what I found is that the people in kehilla match my way of thinking more than those in other communities, and that kehilla as a community has done the internal work to both talk the talk and walk the walk.
  • Commitment to Social Justice
  • Teaching, getting to know whole families, being on a committee, seeing every Jew I know at high holidays, the music at services (specifically singing the prayers in community)
  • Being part of a progressive community
  • The people, the diversity, the humanity, the presence in the community.
  • Ethical standards, spiritual exploration and searching that Kehilla represents

LOVE OF KEHILLA COMMUNITY 

  • The awesomeness of Kehilla! 
  • Being a part of the Kehilla community brings us comfort and joy. It is a big part of our family’s life and identity and is helping us teach our kids and raise them with good values. We appreciate having a place to grow and learn together with other loving people. 
  • Great community, social justice lens, innovations
  • It’s a form of family
  • The people, political action
  • I love this community!  The heart, the warmth, the passion for social justice & ACTION
  • Connecting with people I love through spiritual practice 
  • I love our community. I love how we live our values (or at least try). I love the music and spirit. 
  • Community community community 
  • Putting my values into practice, learning about my spiritual traditions, and the community!
  • The loving community, the radical politics, the radical services and jewish education
  • I love the warm community
  • Community, ritual, connection, music, food, political engagement
  • Knowing that there is community to call on and contribute to. Friendships. Wisdom of leaders.
  • The community, and that I grew up in Kehilla!!
  • Supportive, inclusive community creatively engaged with spiritual practice, social action and Jewish learning. Core values embraced which I support
  • The people. We really miss the community and vibe of being in a room full of folks singing together. Online is just not the same. I spend hours online already and relish the opportunity to get offline and come to kehilla or outdoor events. 
  • It is where I want to be.  (Cf. Shaker song, “Simple Gifts”)
  • The many already-engaged and welcoming members. 
  • We like to keep our connection to Judaism with a community of people which includes many we have known for a long time
  • The loving community, the radical politics, the radical services and jewish education
  • I like the people, the mission, the spirituality.
  • Community, Shabbos services 
  • Community and committees 
  • The community, friendships, deep spiritual support, activism, the past, present and future 
  • Community, friendship, spiritual nurturance
  • The good people, and the opportunity to work intensively on the immigration committee
  • Immigration committee work, community that i’ve built at kehilla, services
  • seeing folks in person, hanging out with other parents, friendships/relationships with our kids, attending services (in person)
  • Community
  • Kehilla is my only synagogue.  I’ve never been part of any other.  It’s my spiritual home and a wonderful social and political community.  I have become very separate during the pandemic, mostly because I have too many zoom events and not enough human contact.
  • Committee work, holiday & occasional shabbat services, klezmer band (!)
  • Commitment to this community,  spiritual leaders,  want to be part of Jewish space
  • Excellent inclusive intelligent heartfelt programming. Identity as a “Kehilla person”, feeling part of a community of diverse, progressive Jews. Social justice opportunities.
  • Kehilla is my Jewish Home base after 30+ years. Sadly my Kehilla family for high holidays and other events has dissipated over the last two years and other zoom groups have arisen for me for Passover, Purim and Hanukkah. I primarily attend services on High Holidays however in the last few years have been drawn to in person outdoor services at Urban Adamah. I liked the less formal smaller old high holiday services but then we were a smaller congregation. I love the book group and Seders and some classes or events. It was critical to me to have Rabbi David there when my husband passed away for comfort and for the funeral and the unveiling. I want Kehilla to be there when that time comes for me altho my son (step-son) was not raised Jewish it will be important
  • We value what Kehilla has meant to us, our family, our Kehilla community, and the East Bay.
  • In-person community
  • Knowing that there is community to call on and contribute to. Friendships.
  • The embracing community

COMMITMENT TO FOSTERING A DIVERSE, EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY

  • The Jewish Renewal social justice focus keeps me engaged. I especially support the anti-racism FWWP meetings, which I’ve attended many of and the Praying with Disabled Bodies meeting, which I’ve attended almost all of. I broadly support Kehilla’s racial justice initiative (and as a side note, I just tried to navigate to it on Kehilla’s website, but the link in the drop down menu didn’t work.) And I love Kehilla’s online Passover Seder and High Holy Day services, and I especially appreciate the leadership from social justice-oriented people who are people of color, queer, and/or disabled.
  • Kehilla’s emphasis on tikkun olam through economic & social justice work in our community and in the wider world, and through anti-racism education within our congregation.
  • POC, queer/trans, leftist engagement; caring community
  • White folks decentering whiteness group
  • These are my people! Plus I am part of the Arc of Change leadership team, which definitely keeps me engaged!
  • Integrating social justice and racial inclusion. It’s the community I want to be part of. 

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP, SPIRITUALITY, AND LEARNING

  • Shulamit and Dev and Gray and the values Kehilla represents
  • Rabbi Dev’s gorgeous leadership
  • The strength of the spiritual leadership (particularly Rabbi Dev and Chazan Shulamit)
  • Wisdom of leaders
  • The leadership
  • Service leadership
  • The spiritual leadership 
  • The very thoughtful leaders
  • The spiritual leadership and the commitment to community and community social action
  • The people and the services, especially HHD
  • High holidays
  • High Holy Day services
  • The spiritual support
  • The community, friendships, deep spiritual support, activism, the past, present and future 
  • Community, friendship, spiritual nurturance
  • We love the rabbis, the musical prayer leaders, and the High Holy Day Services.  Even though our kids have grown up, we appreciate supporting Kehilla’s school and B’mitzvah program, and we enjoyed the last bat mitzvah we went to.   We don’t get to do a lot of social justice activities, but we’re glad to support that these activities are done in our name.
  • Committee work, holiday & occasional shabbat services, klezmer band (!)
  • I like the people, the mission, the spirituality.
  • It’s my spiritual home.  
  • The thoughtful decisions that are made and how they’re communicated. The social justice work people are doing. Saturday morning services.
  • Social Justice work, meditation, Dev
  • The “non-God” oriented nature of Kehilla and especially love Kehilla High Holidays (which I greatly miss in person). 
  • Putting my values into practice, learning about my spiritual traditions, and the community!
  • Learning
  • Social Action + spiritual events
  • The loving community, the radical politics, the radical services and jewish education
  • The spiritual and community connection
  • The community, the teachings, the emphasis on social justice
  • Kehilla School
  • Community, friendship, spiritual nurturance
  • It’s my Jewish Community for so many years now, I’ll leave when I die.
  • Immigration committee work, community that i’ve built at kehilla, services
  • I like the new leadership and after the pandemic, I am also interested in returning to actual community-building events. I think the immigration work at kehilla is amazing and my partner loved the class with Rabbi Dev. The social justice work and increasingly the fact that you attract younger congregants are all a plus for me.
  • Community, progressive nature, amazing rabbis and great hebrew school
  • Awesome leadership, great community, inspiring/satisfying services 
  • The Meditation group 

SUPPORT OF FAMILIES, CHILDREN AND YOUTH

  • Tot shabbat, havurtots
  • Daughter/ Bat Mitzvah
  • Tot Shabbat, eager for child to grow up in Kehilla community, The school for our kids
  • Also, our family has greatly appreciated the life cycle events for ourselves & our friends at Kehilla: bat mitzvahs, funerals, shivas… 
  • The involvement of our kids in youth programs
  • Being a part of the Kehilla community brings us comfort and joy. It is a big part of our family’s life and identity and is helping us teach our kids and raise them with good values. We appreciate having a place to grow and learn together with other loving people. 
  • Even though our kids have grown up, we appreciate supporting Kehilla’s school and B’mitzvah program, and we enjoyed the last bat mitzvah we went to.   
  • Teaching, getting to know whole families, being on a committee, seeing every Jew I know at high holidays, the music at services (specifically singing the prayers in community)
  • Seeing folks in person, hanging out with other parents, friendships/relationships with our kids, attending services (in person)

MUSIC

  • I love the music and spirit. 
  • Social justice work and music
  • The music at services (specifically singing the prayers in community)
  • Community, ritual, connection, music, food, political engagement

SUPPORTING LIFE CYCLES

  • It was critical to me to have Rabbi David there when my husband passed away for comfort and for the funeral and the unveiling. I want Kehilla to be there when that time comes for me altho my son (step-son) was not raised Jewish it will be important
  • Also, our family has greatly appreciated the life cycle events for ourselves & our friends at Kehilla: bat mitzvahs, funerals, shivas…

III. SHABBAT SERVICES ACCESS COMMENTS

PREFER IN-PERSON (21)

  • Now that I can be in person, it’s all that I want to do. There’s no substitute for being in the sanctuary.
  • My preference is to gather in person. I’ll attend virtually if it is the only choice but probably less often.
  • I live in walking distance so if there’s the option to attend in person I likely will.
  • I’m not very motivated to attend services on-line but am very motivated to come back to Kehilla in person, especially for Friday night services (Sat. am is less possible for me). I’ve been meaning to come to Kabbalat Shabbat services in person but now see that those services on mostly on-line. Hoping that Kabbalat Shabbat will start in person soon!

In-person if safe re COVID

  • I’d love to attend in person, and it would probably depend on what the covid rates are and whether people have to be masked. I would be more likely to attend in person if it was outside.
  • I appreciate that some need online but I am very over Zoom unless in person is unsafe
  • So much more value with in-person experiences! would love if masks are still required though
  • I cannot answer these questions. I want to attend in person. My zoom tolerance has shrunk. I’m just starting to do some more things out in the world. But I don’t go to crowded indoor spaces or eat at indoor restaurants. You say nothing about vaccination requirement, testing, spacing, and masks. Without some protections I doubt I would attend in person. If case loads go up that would make in person unlikely. I understand the burden on Kehilla. The issue is what allows the fullest, most satisfying participation for the most people. I am 83 years old. It may be that Kehilla needs to cater to younger people.

Outdoor Services are appealing

  • Shabbat services outside would be nice
  • I am really wanting opportunities to meet in person–I fully burned out on zoom:) Hikes and camping might be nice ways to gather outside too –I have a friend in Fresno who started wild church and they pray in nature once a month.

Zoomed out or unable to engage online

  • Now that it’s possible to meet in person, online meetings don’t appeal to me. I’m “Zoomed out.”
  • I just greatly prefer in person. I’m over Zoom. I also have a high threshold for covid nonsense, so that impacts my decision. I also don’t attend services ALL that regularly.
  • Before the availability of vaccines, having online engagement was so appreciated, but even interactive online engagement doesn’t come close to the experience of gathering in person. And, like many I think, I am feeling very “zoomed out.”
  • I have become fatigued of zoom break out groups and dyads, prefer to interact in person
  • It is very difficult for me to engage online. I am hoping as we enter into another b’mitzvah year that it will be in person.
  • If there is an in person option for service, highly unlikely to attend any virtual form.

Infrequent attendee but prefer in-person if attending…

  • I don’t regularly attend Shabbat services, but if I do, I would want to attend in person.
  • In truth I very rarely attend Shabbat services but in person services call out to me much more than virtual and if virtual then I want shared zoom — I simply do not find streaming compelling or engaging (true for me for art, musician and spiritual services)
  • I don’t attend services often. If I do, I’m happy with any of the above options, though prefer in-person.
  • I don’t attend services often in general, but when I do I really want to be in person.
  • We do not attend Shabbat services very often. We go for special occasions. In those circumstances, we prefer in person only.

PREFER ONLINE SERVICES (11)

  • If there are in-person meetings and services, I would join on ZOOM only if there was technology so that we could hear people who are in-person and persons on zoom.
  • I don’t feel comfortable attending in person at this time. Attending via zoom also makes it more likely I’ll attend rather than commuting. I also often times attend services and classes at Romemu (NYC), which they have been excellent in making available remotely even before the pandemic. My sense is that Kehilla has so much to offer to many beyond the immediate area and keeping events hybrid is a worthwhile investment.
  • We are so happy to attend services while down the coast! Prefer interactive of course but can do with streaming. Most important next step is miking the congregation.
  • I do not often attend Shabbat services and now I live in Sacramento so can only attend on-line.
  • I live in Sacramento; getting to Piedmont is becoming difficult for me.
  • I live in MA. It is difficult for us to maintain continuity on line. Hence general preference for no interaction
  • My responses about in person are influenced by my distance from the shul. I also realized while filling this out that I have missed the opportunities to attend shul when it was on Zoom. Whatever is decided will be fine by me.
  • I am in the middle of extensive medical treatment so this is not mostly about covid.
  • Because of COVID, I am reluctant to attend in person.
  • Disability keeps me from driving much, and COVID is a factor too.
  • I have physical problems especially with walking or standing. That makes in person activities problematic, especially with the unfortunate lack of parking.
  • I live with a beloved family member who is at much higher risk of severe illness from COVID due to a weak immune system, and I don’t want to risk giving COVID to him or anyone. Also, I don’t want to risk getting long COVID, which is a significant risk, even though I’m fully vaccinated and boosted. A 3/30/22 piece in The Guardian explains:
    “We’ve known for well over a year how prevalent and severe long Covid is, yet the public remains largely uninformed around its risk. While the likelihood of someone developing the condition after infection has ranged from 5% or 50% (a recent meta-analysis pins it to 20-30%, and 10% if vaccinated), the most conservative estimate still amounts to one in 20 people.”  This piece is available here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2022/mar/30/long-covid-coronavirus-covid-pandemic-health.
    Unfortunately, even wearing a well-fitting N95 doesn’t sufficiently protect me from COVID inside if others nearby aren’t also wearing well-fitting high-filtration masks, especially if they’re singing. A 1/11/22 article in Axios titled “Why we need to wear better masks” explains:
    “The details: In the recent study by researchers at Max Planck Institute in Germany, they investigated the risk when two individuals are speaking with each other at a close distance. Their study used the most conservative estimates for simulations, meaning that any scenarios with a risk below 1% in their study can be assumed safe in a real-world environment.
    -As shown in the data visualization above, only universal masking with well-fitted N95 or similar masks reduced the risk to below 1% after 20 minutes.
    -Surgical masks and situations where one person wore a poorly fitting mask or did not mask reduced the infection risk to between 4-10% after 20 minutes, which is still far above the acceptable risk level, they said.
    -This study did not investigate cloth masks, but other studies have shown that they can provide even less protection than surgical masks.
    A separate experiment from the study found that social distancing barely helped, with the infection risk reaching 80% after just one minute, and 99.9% after 20 minutes.”
    This article is available here.
  • For services to be safe, meaningful, and enjoyable, I’d need them to be online only. I think that I’d find participating in an online hybrid program while I watch our community enjoy gathering in person while taking COVID-risks to be troubling and make me feel like an outsider.
  • I’d like to speak with the COVID safety committee about COVID safety at Kehilla. While I don’t have formal training in medicine, I have a strong background in online research. For example, I worked for years as a legal research analyst. Also, before attending law school, I got a B.A. with honors in psychology—I focused on research psychology and learned how to effectively evaluate scientific studies. Additionally, I’ve been researching COVID information from science-based trustworthy sources almost every day since the pandemic started.

MULTI-ACCESS COMMENTS (4)

  • Sometimes I’m out of town and appreciate having a zoom connection. But if I’m in town I really like to come in person
  • I love going in person but at times online is easier for my schedule.
  • I appreciate any opportunity to access Kehilla community and know it’s a privilege to have so many options available to me. I’m aware that shifting modalities for gathering and experimenting with hybrid setups is an enormous undertaking with an immense amount of thought and consideration behind it, and that increasing demand outpacing an increase in resources calls for hard decisions. Personally, for my own needs, I’ve found participating online during hybrid-format events a bit lacking in comparison with online-only events. There was a certain richness of engagement with everyone in the Zoom space, equipped with the same tools for interaction, whereas in hybrid events now my engagement feels much more spectatorial and peripheral. I still think online-only events are quite valuable, but I’m much less likely to engage online with events centered on their in-person component. However, I know I say this as a person who is (currently) able to come to Kehilla in person, and I don’t mean to comment on the value of hybrid-format services for folks whose only option is virtual participation.
  • I fully support keeping Kehilla services accessible to all (or most) via online access. But when I think about it for me personally, I am far less likely to attend online these days.

DO NOT USUALLY ATTEND SHABBAT SERVICES (16)

  • Probably would not be attending Shabbat services of any kind.
  • My daughter has ballet on Saturday morning through May so that limits my ability to participate in Shabbat services
  • I’m very glad they are available to our congregation, but I just don’t make it to services very often.
  • I’m not a regular at Kehilla Shabbat services b/c of distance and other activities.
  • I rarely—but sometimes—attended services before pandemic. Participated mainly in Kehilla’s political activities, including committee work. I appreciate the possibility of engaging with my community, in spiritual and political activities. I am vulnerable and not ready to engage much in face-to-face gatherings.
  • I haven’t often attended Sabbath services. So the participation method isn’t that important to me
  • I don’t attend services
  • I don’t attend Shabbat morning services very often.
  • I am unlikely to attend Shabbat services in any form
  • I am most likely to attend a Shabbat in conjunction with a B’nai Mitzvah service. I have not been attending standard shabbats regularly either in person or online.

Attend Specific Services Only

  • We pretty much exclusively attend tot shabbat
  • I don’t go to Shabbat services very often. More likely to celebrate holidays which at the moment I’d prefer to do online in any format.
  • We likely only attend high holidays. Too early to say what we’d do. Open to in person, with mask and vax requirement
  • We have been doing Shabbat w folks in our Batmitvah study group.
  • This reflects more how busy i am at this time in my life and have not for a long time had the time to attend shabbat services. I attend high holiday services.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Above questions impossible to answer: what assumptions are being made about level of Covid virus in the community? What period of time are you inquiring about?

IV. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING NOT RENEWING, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY?

FRUSTRATED WITH LACK OF IN-PERSON OPTIONS AND HOW IN-PERSON PROTOCOLS ARE MANAGED

  • Lack of in person options.  I feel very frustrated by how long it has taken kehilla to restart in person programming and how limited it is.  I feel frustrated by the policy that young kids must be rapid tested at the door and then wait while their older siblings are able to go in (as if only the unvaccinated can spread covid–this makes no sense and feels punitive and hurtful).  The communication around this has been terrible and really alienating to parents of young kids.  My family has gotten more involved and engaged in other communities that were able to open more quickly and with more kindness and more connection for our kids and have been more nimble about meeting our/their needs.  However, we still feel really linked to kehilla and would like to continue to try to return.  My kid loves kehilla school, our friends are hopefully going to return to kehilla, and prior to the pandemic it was our spiritual home.  
  • It would be crushing if the b’mitzvah program moved online again.
  • Having an online community is not what I’m looking for right now.

ONLY WANT TO PARTICIPATE WITH ONLINE FORMAT AND WON’T RENEW IF IN-PERSON EVENTS BRING BACK COVID RISKS

  • If Kehilla switches to mostly in-person or hybrid events, I may not renew for reasons discussed above, at least until COVID levels get far lower than they are now or until there would be a truly effective vaccine that works near 100% against all variants. 
  • I am probably going to renew, but the reasons I might consider not are entirely about online options decreasing / going away.

OTHER DISINCENTIVES TO PARTICIPATION

  • A lot of money and I don’t participate in much since my child has left home. 
  • It is mostly work now for me and not as personally renewing as in the past
  • I am not as engaged as I was pre-pandemic however I will continue to renew for my life.
  • We reside in MA

MISCELLANEOUS 

  • My family feels welcomed and part of the community.

V. IF YOU ARE NEW TO KEHILLA, WHAT DREW YOU TO KEHILLA?

PROGRESSIVE COMMUNITY WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE VALUES AND ACTIONS

  • Social justice activities
  • Social justice, and it is near my home
  • The reputation for progressive politics and a corresponding assumption about progressive policies
  • Progressive politics and the community
  • Politics backed by walking the walk, great people, good teachings
  • The organization’s social justice activities & its commitment to doing good in the world.
  • The openness and progressive politics, the music, the fact that I’ve attended High Holidays there for many years.
  • Ruach; music; an inclusive progressive Renewal community

VALUE ALIGNMENT WITH KEHILLA’S POSITION ON ISRAEL/PALESTINE

  • Liberal, queer-centric, and position on israel-pal conflict
  • Commitment to access, non-Zionist liturgy and community

SPIRITUALITY and SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

  • Values and Clergy
  • The awesome people, the emphasis on spirituality with progressive social consciousness, the music, the love, the gluten free challah
  • Its style of Jewish Renewal; inclusivity; welcoming community
  • Desire for community. Also Dev and Shulamit’s leadership — Kehilla’s are pretty much the only Jewish services I have found genuinely meaningful to me.
  • Ruach; music; an inclusive progressive Renewal community
  • My partner, Shabbat services on Friday night, queer-friendly, women and non-binary led 

FRIENDS AND FAMILY

  • Our neighbors
  • My relatively new life-partner and his son.
  • My partner, Shabbat services on Friday night, queer-friendly, women and non-binary led

QUALITY OF THE MUSIC

  • I’ve been a member for two years, not sure if that makes me new or around for awhile. I think what drew me in and keeps me engaged is the quality of the music during services. Huge respect to all of our musical prayer leaders!!!
  • The awesome people, the emphasis on spirituality with progressive social consciousness, the music, the love, the gluten free challah
  • Ruach; music; an inclusive progressive Renewal community
  • The openness and progressive politics, the music, the fact that I’ve attended High Holidays there for many years.
  • Values, music, queer community

KEHILLA SCHOOL AND B’MITZVAH TRAINING

  • Kehilla school and b’mitzvah training
  • Kehilla school
  • Community, racial justice perspective, children’s programs
  • Community and Kehilla school

DESIRE FOR COMMUNITY IN GENERAL

  • Desire for community. Also Dev and Shulamit’s leadership — Kehilla’s are pretty much the only Jewish services I have found genuinely meaningful to me.
  • Community. We attended the HavurTot events in person and liked them so much that we decided to join.
  • Community, racial justice perspective, children’s programs
  • Community and meeting new people
  • Community and Kehilla school
  • I thought I would have a lot in common with others
  • I wanted to go to in-person events but due to COVID have not been going

AND SPECIFICALLY, FOR ONE THAT IS WELCOMING, INCLUSIVE, AND DIVERSE

  • Arc of Change
  • It’s style of Jewish Renewal; inclusivity; welcoming community
  • It is a very welcoming place for blended families.
  • initially it was just the closest synagogue but it’s such a welcoming community that doesn’t shy away from adapting to intersectionality and talking about hard topics.
  • I need a spiritual community that truly loves diversity, with a strong focus on social good and self-care.
  • Inclusivity
  • I’ve been a member for two years, not sure if that makes me new or around for awhile. I think what drew me in and keeps me engaged is the quality of the music during services. Huge respect to all of our musical prayer leaders!!!
  • Commitment to access, non-Zionist liturgy and community
  • Am I new at about two years in? I engaged with Kehilla because I was looking for a community that could support conversion and that espoused progressive values, specifically in the Renewal/Reconstructionist stream.

INCLUDING QUEER-FRIENDLY

  • One of the most important things was safety and inclusion for LGBT members, and the political radicalism present.
  • Values, music, queer community
  • One of the most important things was safety and inclusion for LGBT members, and the political radicalism present.
  • My partner, Shabbat services on Friday night, queer-friendly, women and non-binary led
  • liberal, queer-centric, and position on israel-pal conflict
  • As a trans Jew I was excited to be part of a shul with a Trans Rabbi. I left CSZ because they displaced a tent community near the shul, and felt that Kehilla would not share that position. Glitter Kehilla sounded amazing.   

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Chance

VI. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD

COVID CONCERNS AND INFLUENCE ON PARTICIPATION

  • So much of the above depends on the evolving Covid situation.  If Covid is not a factor by next spring, then I would be only interested in an in person seder for example.  But since we don’t know, I have to indicate “multi-access” to cover the bases.   On the other hand, having multi-access makes it more likely that I will attend, say, a shabbat service.  Likely regardless of Covid I would use multi-access to attend at least some of the HHD services, just to avoid having to deal with parking near Scottish Rite for all services.
  • “Please seriously consider what I wrote under “Anything you want to share about your above response?” I’m happy to send more links to trustworthy science-based COVID information with a precautionary principle perspective–I hope that’s what Kehilla relies on going forward
  • As I mentioned above, I’d like to speak with the COVID safety committee about COVID safety at Kehilla. 
  • Even if I were to say today that I would come to service in person (with masks, ventilation, maybe vaccination) I could not say that will hold in a month or in the fall.  It depends on the case count and the virulence.  Right now I can say I would like to risk coming to one Shabbat or other event in person if everyone wears an N95 or similar mask and there’s some ventilation.  See how it goes.  Without high quality masks I definitely wouldn’t attend.

STRONGLY PRO IN-PERSON OFFERINGS 

  • Being in person needs to be the priority.  While providing access via virtual means should be available whenever possible, it should never take precedence over in-person gathering.  
  • The virus will be around for a long time, although hopefully with reduced impact. It is taking a risk, perhaps sticking one’s neck out, to decide to get back to primarily in person contacts, but I think it is time to take that risk ….using some of the habits we have formed in the last two years.
  • Our attendance at Kehilla has never recovered from the move away from our neighborhood 15 years ago.   Nonetheless, we really want in-person events, especially High Holy Days.   The only things we might continue to do online are adult education classes.
  • Kids need to be in person. Streaming, online, multi-access programs for kids should be avoided if at all possible. I also personally am not very interested in streaming or online programs.
  • In so many ways, the Kehilla staff and clergy have done an AMAZING job keeping us connected through the COVID crisis. But now that we can gather in person, participating online doesn’t feel adequate for most Kehilla programs – except the W/F meditation circles – meeting online seems to work very well for those sessions.
  • In person is important 
  • I greatly miss High Holiday in person services and hope that Kehilla will be able to host them in person (or at least multi access) this year.  For me, high holidays via zoom does not have the same meaning or feeling.  Sure hope 2022 is the year we can restart in person!
  • I am most interested in adult education classes.  I would be VERY interested in outdoor events–are there ways to have classes outdoors?  Or ask a person with a big backyard to host classes or smaller events or meetings?

SPECIFIC INTERESTS

  • We are most interested in meeting others in the community, especially under more social settings. We are not interested in prayer or religion. 
  • I miss Kol Kehilla
  • Would love to see an outdoor retreat event this summer!
  • I am really interested in more edgy new ways to come together than break out of some of the older culture at Kehilla–I want us to be fresh, innovative, spontaneous and to be really creative.

COMMUNICATION ISSUES

  • Transparency and good communication among segments is lacking.  No clear understanding of how decisions are made. 
  • Communications are desperately needed among board, staff, and Kehilla members.
  • Really important to me that at least occasionally male-identified folks appear on the bima, speaking at annual fundraisers, stuff like that.

GRATITUDE & KUDOS

  • Kehilla has been here through the most difficult and most joyful times. I really love being a part.
  • Kehilla does a lot with a little!
  • keep up the good work
  • I love the people and the community.”
  • love you all
  • Thanks for everything you do.
  • Thank you to everyone who helps keep Kehilla going!
  • Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, your openness to hearing our thoughts, and the caution over the last few years. I trust the decisions you make around safety, and I have felt the community commitment shining through throughout this long pandemic. 
  • Thank you Kehilla!! 
  • Thank you for your sustaining efforts for all of us.
  • Thank you for everything!
  • Thank you for all you do for our community. 
  • Well, I’m prejudiced, but I think that new-ish employee Josh Cohen is doing a fabulous job. 🙂

MISCELLANEOUS

  • I also appreciate the offer to use the building or the courtyard for adjacent events. For example I do have some groups I lead and I don’t have space at my house to meet outside. I have yet to ask to use the courtyard but I know that I can.
  • Our family does not participate actively in much even though Kehilla is important to us.  Given our minimal participation, I do not feel like we should influence the process very much, and respect that there are people with much more significant involvement whose needs should be considered more substantially. Thank you for asking us all, nonetheless.