Overview of the new Communications Policy and Protocol of Temple Israel

At its meeting on October 17, 2013, Temple Israel’s Board of Directors approved a new  Communications Policy and Protocol, which outlines how communications should be carried out at Temple Israel.  The overall objective is to ensure that our communications advance Temple’s mission and vision and reflect the values of our sacred community.  To help achieve that objective, the document sets out principles, objectives and protocols for conducting communications.

At the outset, the Communications Policy and Protocol notes that communications are part of everything we do as an inclusive and egalitarian community.  Communications are therefore a shared responsibility, part of everybody’s business, and must be routinely be considered in developing policies, programs and activities. The document outlines what those responsibilities are and attempts to set down how communications can be handled in a consistent, effective and well co-ordinated way.  While communications involve many players,  ultimate authority rests with the President under the policy.

The document is divided into two main sections addressing internal and external communications.  The Internal communications section (pp. 1- 6) primarily addresses  communications from governing bodies and staff to the congregation and vice-versa, but also deals with communications among governing bodies and staff.  The section on external communications (pp. 6-9) addresses communications from Temple Israel to the broader communities of Jews and non-Jews in the Ottawa area and beyond.  Each of the two sections outlines the communications roles of the Executive, Board of Directors and Committees, as well as the responsibilities of individuals in various positions, including the rabbi and other staff.

Under the policy, the objectives of internal communications include:

  • Fostering openness, transparency and accountability in governance of Temple;
  • Keeping the congregations informed of activities, programs and services;
  • Encouraging and facilitating the participation of congregants in the various aspects of Temple life;
  • Recognizing the contributions of members of Temple and celebrating our successes;
  • Ensuring communications between governing bodies and staff are conducive to good governance.

Under the policy, the objectives of external communications include:

  • Asserting the values of liberal Judaism;
  • Reaching out to non-practicing and unaffiliated Jews and all those drawn to Judaism or interested in its teachings and practices;
  • Attracting new members in order to maintain and build our congregation;
  • Contributing to the continuity and flourishing of a vibrant Jewish presence in the Ottawa area and beyond;
  • Advancing social justice; and
  • Asserting our relationship with the state of Israel and its people.