How do you transform a ragged mass of slaves escaping unimaginable tyranny into a functioning, viable society whose laws, principles and values would help form today's modern world? It all started in the desert, when Moses was commanded to organize this mass of people into groups and then count them.
In this week's Torah portion, B' Midbar, we learn about the early formation of our people, how they organized, how they were counted and how these actions helped create a sense of connection and interdependence. We became one people, comprised of many different groups, each forming their own identity but together sharing values, laws, practices and traditions that have endured for thousands of years.
As important it was to canvass the Israelites, it is equally important for us today to survey our community to gain a better understanding of our size, special qualities and overall characteristics and specifically to learn about the individuals who are our neighbors.
Standing up to be counted is a fundamental responsibility we all have as members of a civil society. It demonstrates our connection to the whole and at the same time provides us with the opportunity to stand out as individuals, expressing our uniqueness.
Our Jewish community is rapidly changing, and that momentum challenges all of us to better understand who we are, what our current needs are, and which things the individuals in our broad community see as most important to maintain and grow a vibrant Jewish community. In short, we need a road map that will direct us to the future.
I believe that JMAP will bring us where we need to go. JMAP is a community wide study that will help us navigate the future by understanding our current community and its needs. When you're driving to a destination, first you need to know what the map looks like. JMAP will help us map the needs, values and priorities of our diverse Jewish community across Greater Hartford. We'll use that information to create a JMAP dashboard just like the dashboard on your car that will help us measure our progress toward our destinations. The dashboard can be updated regularly so that community members, organizations and funders can evaluate changes in the community and assess the effectiveness of their efforts.
When you think of JMAP, think of Jewish Measurement, Action and Progress. That's what JMAP is all about.
If you are over 18 years of age and you self-identify as Jewish, live in a household with someone who self-identifies as Jewish or work for/volunteer with a Jewish organization, you are eligible to take the survey. More than one person in a household can take the JMAP survey as well.
If you are eligible, I urge you to complete the JMAP survey and I ask that you invite at least five others to participate. This is your chance to be counted and have your voice heard. It is your chance to take an active role in helping us better understand who we are as a Jewish community, what we need and where we should be going.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbat and Shavuot.
President & CEO