TriBE Update by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

It has been an exciting journey to get to where we are today with our TriBEs (Small Groups) at Temple Beth El. We are fortunate to have received a generous grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte to help us launch our inaugural cohort of TriBEs geared to Baby Boomers and Empty Nesters.

TriBEs exemplify the new Core Purpose and Mission. Participants have started to (and will continue to) learn together, pray together, act together, play together, care for one another, and be accountable to each other. TriBEs enhance active Jewish living and put congregants in the driver seat of their own Jewish journeys.

On October 23, our TriBE Leadership Team hosted a Launch Party/Matching Event. Here are a few special numbers about that night and since then.

  • 260 attended
  • 40 additional online registrations
  • 28 TriBEs have already launched
  • 3 new TriBEs created out of Launch Party

It is amazing to reflect on this journey. We had an original goal of 12 TriBEs of 120 participants. Here is some exciting data/TriBEs By the Numbers:

  • 31 TriBEs
  • 56 trained leaders/co-leaders
  • 5 prospective TriBE Leaders
  • 304 unique TriBE participants
  • 359 total TriBE participants

This initiative has gained tremendous momentum. Many congregants are excited, bought in, and share ownership. The Core Leadership Team is already noticing the potential next generation of TriBE Leaders, Coaches, and Core Leadership Team.

We have received rave reviews. One TriBE Leader shared that their first gathering was around a table for a Tu BiSh’vat Seder sharing love, life, & stories. Few knew each other, and everyone connected on a deeper level through this new experience. Nobody left when it was over; everyone stayed around sharing more stories. One of the Geography & Wine TriBEs has a different host for each meeting (shared ownership); as they explore different regions/countries, they incorporate Jewish life and history in that area into discussion/learning. Another TriBE created their own logo and brand showing off tremendous pride in their own TriBE. All are finding opportunities to join TBE for events/holidays

There is a direct connection between large congregation-wide gatherings and intimate TriBE gatherings. There is a Shabbat Dinner for TriBEs in March, TriBE Leader gathering to share ideas in April, and discussion about other possibilities in the future.

We will continue to meet as Core Leadership Team and Leadership Team to reflect, evaluate, and plan ahead. We will maintain an open mind so TriBEs are not solely based on demographic, but also based on geography, affinity, career, life situation, and more. We will continue to train TriBE Leaders/Coaches and prepare to expand in a sustainable manner so staff, lay leaders, and the process are successful. We will evaluate the current structure and explore possibilities (training, matching, curriculum, management, expansion, networking).

There is much more work to be done as we explore launching more TriBEs in the future. One thing is clear. We are well on our way to transform Temple Beth El from a synagogue of programs to a synagogue of people in deep relationship with each other.