The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires recognizes the value of long-range planning in fulfilling its mission and serving the community. In particular it is committed to sustaining and strengthening Jewish community, caring for those in need, and nurturing a Jewish future by focusing on related challenges and opportunities.
Strategic planning is an essential step in achieving that focus, a periodic activity designed to set priorities, concentrate energy and resources, and ensure that leaders are working toward common goals. Effective strategic planning can be a critical management and governance tool to articulate where an organization is going and what actions are needed to make progress. It also provides a process to determine success.
In developing a strategic plan, the Federation sought to:
Affirm its mission and its core values.
Understand the community’s needs, concerns, and ideas.
Frankly and openly discuss challenges the Federation must address including changing demographics and finding ways to sustain support for programs.
Identify key opportunities for addressing organizational challenges affecting programming, development, internal operations and community relations.
A Strategic Planning Committee was formed in 2019 to initiate the planning process. This committee consisted of 17 representatives from the Board, senior leadership and a diverse group of community members. Plans were made to gain input and feedback by facilitating retreats, hosting town halls and focus groups, interviewing individual stakeholders and conducting a community-wide, online survey. There were 250 in-person interactions and more than 500 survey responses.