Building Long Lasting Relationships

by Robbin Botnick, February 4, 2018

Dear Soleniks,

I cannot believe that it is already February and the most accurate predictor of the weather, the groundhog, has forecast another 6 weeks of cold and snow. Based on how quickly January has passed, winter will be just a memory in a few short months. While everyone is bundled up inside, we are looking for your ideas, thoughts, opinions, recommendations on how to better connect with members within our Solel community and how to connect and continue to build our community with the unaffiliated Jews in the GTA. Solel has so much to offer but we don’t always connect with everyone to build the long lasting connections that our community needs to continue to thrive.

We are looking for your thoughts and recommendations both on how to better connect with Solelniks as they travel through their various life stages: from Bar/Bat Mitzvah to University to marriage; from new parents, to raising teenagers, to retirement and everything in between. How do we as a community better connect with our community? I was recently reminded that the smallest things make the biggest impacts, a phone call, a welcome message, a check in. We have lots to offer at Solel from a full range of services to our esteemed Bet Sefer Solel. We offer a variety of programs for both our children and our adults: Kuddle-up Shabbats, Shul-ins, Book Reviews, Torah Study, Jewish parenting classes, our annual fund raiser and social, but we would like to do more to really connect. What would you like to see our board, our committees our volunteers do to help us all feel more connected?

There was a time, not so long ago, that families joined Synagogues because they always had, families felt an obligation to support the Jewish community and they did this, in part, through joining a Synagogue. As society changes and the idea of in-person connections starts to migrate towards technology based communities, the traditional ideas of community prayer have started to change and how and why people join and support Synagogues has also started to change. I understand that the world is changing so we need to figure out how to keep pace with this change. I strongly believe that there is a need for people to share a spiritual connection and to have human connections and that Solel continues to have a place in this new and changing world. We know that the West GTA, from Etobicoke to Burlington has a large number of unaffiliated Jews. How to we let people know that Solel is here? How does our community get to know our wonderful Rabbi Pollack and our ever dynamic Educator Arliene Botnick? How do we better connect with the Jewish community, outside of Solel, and draw in those who have not found a Synagogue to connect to?

There is a great book called The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, written by James Surowiecki. The premise is that decisions made by a collective are often better than could have been made by any single individual. In this spirit we are looking for your ideas on how to better connect to our existing Solel members and how to connect to potential new members. Can you help us? If you have an idea or a recommendation please email me at or call me and I would love to talk to you further.


Filed under: President's Message

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