Now, thanks to all of you, we have many more real answers to our questions. As we have met the hundreds of individuals and families who have already connected with Makom, we have learned more about who you are, what you are looking for and how best to connect with you. Below are some important lessons we have learned, and how that has impacted our planning for the future.
This ‘relaunch’ is a good thing – Makom is healthy, we are growing and we want to continue to innovate, learn and listen, and so we are fine-tuning and better defining who we are, what our mission is and how we can accomplish our goals.
We have identified three overarching areas of transformation from Year 1 to Year 3:
- an evolution in our mission, with a focus on flourishing (see below)
- a redesign of our current donation model; still maintaining a non-traditional dues structure, yet encouraging and simplifying the capacity for each individual and family to fiscally support Makom NY
- an excitement, acknowledgement and statement of our success: Makom is here to stay!
We have learned (and re-learned) important lessons from Makom’s first two years:
1.Families are seeking a happy place in which their children can learn. In our first two years, we witnessed time and time again how important it is for parents to see their children learn ‘Jewish’ in a positive, warm, fun atmosphere.
2.People want a high level ‘product’. Individuals and families are seeking the highest levels of learning, worship and programs, and we at Makom pride ourselves in delivering the highest quality ‘product’ we can.
3.Our community builds relationships….one conversation at a time. We realized quickly how important it was to listen to people’s stories; everyone comes with a unique and important story to share, and storytelling has quickly become the basis of relationship building in our Makom community.
4.People crave community and relationships. People have an innate desire to be part of a healthy community that fosters positive relationships; they are open to Judaism as the vehicle to this community.
5.At their core, people are looking for ‘good’. After hundreds of encounters, we come back to one basic observation: in this busy, hectic, challenging world, doing, being and finding good is what people strive for.
Our Focus in Year 3…and Beyond:
1. Meeting people where they are (of course); helping people to move forward. We always understood the importance of meeting people where they are; we really internalize and embrace what that looks like, how to identify various entry points, and how vital it is to present people with a myriad of valid and different options, so they can move forward on their own unique Jewish journey.
2. Continual need to take down all real or perceived barriers to engagement. We have worked hard over these two years to remove all known barriers to engagement, and we now understand that this is a never-ending task. We realize that there are always barriers, real or perceived, and that we must always be proactive in breaking down these barriers so that all people feel welcomed and accepted.
3. Helping people to find value, which leads to support. We believed from the beginning that people were willing to pay for that which they perceived to have value, and this was true. We now realize that we must focus on helping people to see that value, to feel that power of Jewish community and Judaism, as provided and emphasized by Makom NY. We want to help people move from realizing value to supporting the community financially.
4. Helping people to flourish, with Judaism as the vehicle for that flourishing. Based on our learning and experiences from the past two years, moving forward, our mission as a community is to help people realize and understand their personal individual strengths in the context of the greater world, and to use those strengths to flourish as human beings.
5. Ongoing Reassessment and Re-visioning. As a (still) new intentional community, it is incumbent upon us to always re-imagine who we are, how we work, what we offer and what our mission is in this world. We will continue to listen to you, hear your stories, solicit your feedback.
So why are we ‘re-launching’ in Year 3? Because that is just who we are.
We will never be static. We will always work to move forward in serving the greater Makom community. That means listening to your stories and acting on your feedback.
Welcome to Year 3 of Makom NY. We are glad you’re here!