From the Introduction to Dr. Tussy Shnider's New Book
My book was written as a description of two values-based changes from a transactional/programmatically based culture to a relationship-based culture. A transactional/programmatical culture refers to a focus on the programs offered by a congregation – religious school, preschool, bar/bat mitzvah preparation, adult education, etc. It is saying, “We offer these programs and services. Come and join us.” In many respects, it is an outreach process seeking to bring in new members. A relational culture reflects a focus on the relationships of one member to another, of the member to the organization, and of the member to the Torah (Bible) and to God. It is a way of thinking that impacts the way things are done and the way decisions are made.
Relational thinking is an in-reach process that is focused on the current members, enriching their experience by the enhancing their development of relationships. The two relationships to which our temple's process has been devoted and about which this book is written are the member-to-member relationships and the member-to-congregation relationships. The member-to-member relationship component recounts the beginnings of our process and the projects we implemented toward the enrichment of relationships. The member-to-congregation component describes the transition from a system of annual commitment (a traditional, standard system) to a voluntary pledge system.
Dr. Shinder's New Book, One Congregation's Journey of Change: A Guide to Enriching Reltionships In Your Congregation will be out this Fall. This “how to” book describes the steps taken by a Reform Jewish congregation to transform their culture from a transactional, program-based organization to one focused on the sacredness of relationships. For more information contact Dr. Shnider at Author@DrTussyShnider.com or visit online at DrTussyShnider.com.