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Shir Ami is the hub of Reform Judaism in Bucks County, PA

We are DEDICATED to sustaining and growing a vibrant and diverse Jewish Community.

We are DEVOTED to educating all who seek a greater understanding of our tradition, values, and practices.

We are COMMITTED to connecting with each other, cultivating spiritual growth, creating a just and compassionate society, and supporting Israel and our Jewish family worldwide.

                               Keeping Our Message Simple

by Jon Stevens, Shir Ami President

I hope that you’ve noticed that I write a lot about our mission and values.  I won’t tire (and I pray you won’t either) of this topic because our mission and values are energizing, motivational, and meaningful.  When you look at our calendar, Shiron, our email updates, even the bimah welcome from the board, you see exactly how we are making our mission and values come to life.

You may have also noticed that the mission statement can be a mouthful.  Yes, we’re Bucks County’s Reform Judaism Hub, we’re definitely bold about being “Dedicated,” “Devoted,” and “Committed,” but to be honest, the 67 words leaves me a bit tongue tied.  If your president has trouble saying what we’re all about, its probably not so easy for our 600+ members either.

And it’s true.  One of our members told me this story – it absolutely demands repeating. One day she ran into her new neighbor. Through their conversation, she learned her neighbor was Jewish so our member said, “You should come visit and join Shir Ami, my family really loves it.” When asked why, our member didn’t know what to share first because of our many ways to engage, so she stuck with “It’s really great!” Our friend was more than a little frustrated trying to articulate exactly why Shir Ami is an important part of her and her family’s life.

Recently our Communications Committee has been hard at work to make our Mission and Values more clear, concise, relatable, and memorable. They’ve identified 4 pillars we focus on to achieve our Mission and Values: Spiritual Growth, Learning, Making an Impact, and Social Life. I’m thrilled and excited about how easily these four pillars so aptly describe everything we do.  You can see them clearly stated right on our Home Page.

Spiritual Growth motivates us to create worship experiences: weekly services, holidays, lifecycle events, and the personal; to be relevant, inclusive, tradition and values based. Learning is our devotion to understanding our tradition, values, and practices over our lives: from our youngest to our most experienced members.  Making an Impact is our commitment to create a just, compassionate society – here locally and globally as well.  Social Life is our dedication to deepening our connection to each other; building and sustaining a vibrant and diverse Jewish community.

All Shir Ami communications integrate our four pillars.  You may have noticed our twice weekly Shir email updates are organized this way.  Flip through this Shiron you should find it is also structured with the four pillars.  Same goes for our weekly bimah welcome highlighting upcoming Spiritual Growth, Learning, Making an Impact, and Social Life opportunities.  As you’ve accessed your financial statements or found the ease of electronic payments you’ve seen us pilot the four pillars online.  Every time you visit, you’ll find information on current calendar activities in Spiritual Growth, Learning, Making an Impact, and Social Life.  You’ll soon be able to, if not already, research, find, RSVP, and pay for an activity in one stop.  Soon, there will be fewer paper forms, check writing, snail mailing and phone calling just to participate.  

Think about what this means for us when we must answer, “Why are you Shir Ami members?”   Now, the simple answer can be whichever pillar is your highest priority: “My family learns there!” “We make an impact from food insecurity, to racial justice, to our environment.” “Our community is filled with active, interesting members from all backgrounds and ages.” “My spiritual needs are met meaningfully in a variety of ways.”   Of course, each of our answers is the right answer. 

And together, all of our answers make us Shir Ami.   L’hitraot!

Sun, March 29 2020 4 Nisan 5780