"It will be a place that will be a Family of Friends. It will be a place where you will feel a sense of belonging, whether you are an adult or a child, young or old. It will be a place where adults and children will learn together. It will be a place where nobody will be lost in the shuffle of numbers. It will be a place where our children will learn to know and understand other lifestyles and values as well as they understand their own. It will be a place of involvement – from the rituals on the pulpit to participation in services to the dishes in the kitchen. It will be a place where we laugh, cry, love and grieve as we practice our Judaism together"

Ann Lonstein, April 1981

These visionary words from the preamble to our congregational by-laws have been a guide to much of what we have done as a congregation over our 28 year history. In 2003, we adopted Vision and Mission Statements that built on this foundation.

On October 15, 2009, the Bet Shalom Board of Trustees adopted three congregational initiatives which serve as our congregational roadmap for the next two years. These initiatives continue to ensure that our 850 family community increases its vibrancy and relevance as we move into the future.

Building sacred community. A community is all about relationships and caring for one another. It’s how “I” and “others” becomes “we” and “us”. Our success depends on our ability to connect as members -- with each other, with Judaism, and with our collective congregational journey as we pray, study and fulfill acts of loving kindness. Through these connections, we share our stories, express our identity, nurture one another and grow. Over the next two years, we aspire to take welcoming to the next level as we fulfill our vision to be a warm, welcoming, dynamic, participatory and inclusive family of friends.

Creating a thriving youth culture. Our youth are our future. We have a sacred responsibility to pass along our Judaism so that the chain continues unbroken into the future. For each age (along a continuum of birth to high school graduation), we must create a climate that invites our youth to engage with their Jewish identity, learn about our history and values, make Jewish friends and lay the foundation for the practice of mitzvot of Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Chasadim.

Ensuring our financial viability. The current financial climate creates many challenges. Our ability to flourish as a congregation in part depends on our capability to weather this financial storm and build a strong financial foundation for the future, including a sustainable stream of revenue. We should be responsible financial stewards while staying true to our core congregational values. We aim to be proactive and innovative – pragmatically balancing the needs of both the short term and the long term.