CBS YACHAD Affinity Groups

CBS YACHAD Affinity Groups to Launch this Fall

If you have an interest, hobby, or activity that lends itself to small group participation, then Congregation Beth Shalom is offering a new program this fall tailored for you, CBS YACHAD Coming Together.

CBS has long served as a home away from home, providing its members with connections to the Jewish community through spiritual, educational, and social interaction. Now, as we learn to live with social distancing, CBS is creating new opportunities to enhance personal connections and make them even stronger.

After study and planning by the CBS Membership Committee, we are poised to begin the broader next steps in forming CBS YACHAD, or “affinity groups,” which will unite small groups around common interests, assisted by CBS staff but driven by lay leaders and participants. CBS YACHAD has one goal: connecting with friends, but it will also strengthen our members’ relationships to the synagogue, as well as each other, while serving as an innovative tool in membership recruitment and retention.   

Based on the concepts of “relational Judaism,” detailed in books and writing by Dr. Ron Wolfson, CBS YACHAD will engage members in activities they enjoy, while also fostering small group relationships within our large community that will keep members connected and involved.

We will be reaching out to segments of our community, through discussions and an online survey, to gather information about individuals’ interests and demographics. We will be asking, for example, “What would you enjoy doing if you had a group of 5-10 people who would join you?”

Just a few examples could include but not limited to; Hiking Groups, Canasta for Fun, Eating Explorers,  Gourmet Cooking, Bridge, Israeli Conversation, Book Clubs, Mah Jongg, Fantasy Sports Leagues, Exercise Groups, Whiskey Group, Vegan Group, Museum Goers, Women’s Groups, Men’s Groups, etc., etc., etc. The idea is finding your passion and sharing it with others who share the same.

Over the summer, we plan to identify and train individual members who will lead various YACHAD groups by planning and organizing activities outside the synagogue that will forge relationships among our members. Participating in and belonging to a YACHAD group will also help attract new members – perhaps your neighbor or a relative who shares a common interest by connecting with them at their level.

Synagogues and temples in Atlanta, New York, and California are enjoying renewed success by adopting the principles of relational Judaism, engaging members’ personal interests, and enhancing their spiritual  connections through affinity groups. At CBS, we are constantly working to enhance the relational experience for our members.

Please look for more information as we move forward and contact me if you have any questions or  comments at membershipvp@bethshalomnb.org.

Randy Samborn

Membership Vice President