Statement of Intention
The goals of Committee Connection are
- to keep the Kehilla community informed and educated about its member-led teams’ activities and issues via a highly engaging and readable newspaper;
- to attract more members to participate in the synagogue’s social justice, community care, and affinity group* activities;
- and to help cross-pollinate and unify disparate member-led subgroups at Kehilla.
Editor-in-Chief Hillary Brooks
Managing Editor Abby Farrell
Events Editor Julie Litwin
Committee Advisors Jeanne Finberg, Jane Hoberman, Julie Litwin, Karen Rachels, Richard Speiglman
In the beginning, there was a synagogue newsletter called Kol Kehilla, in print, then digital. Much later, Kehilla’s Rabbi David Cooper (now Rabbi Emeritus) curated an e-newsletter, Tikkun Olam Opportunities, to let this radical congregation know about social action events throughout the Bay Area. And both efforts were very useful.
The idea for this new publication arose during the COVID pandemic when the group that ultimately became the Committee Advisors, longtime member-leaders within Kehilla, bemoaned the lack of Kehilla in-person events and news outlets, which made it difficult to spontaneously share information about committees with other members. These leaders desperately wanted to improve communication at Kehilla, so they formed a subgroup to take on various communication issues, including jumpstarting a new Kehilla news publication.
Former Kehilla board co-chair Karen Cohn stepped up to edit the first edition in Fall 2022, a PDF edition entitled An Invitation to Engage: Kehilla Committee News, which featured the Belonging and Allyship Initiative, the Economic Justice Committee, and the Immigration Committee. The Committee Advisors then worked with Kehilla’s then Director of Communications & Membership Engagement, Elle Aviv Newton, to enlist a new volunteer committee to run the newspaper. Hillary Brooks stepped up to be Editor-in-Chief, bringing years of experience, steadfast commitment to Kehilla, and clear vision to every aspect of getting the publication up and running. Abby Farrell dove in as Managing Editor with a keen eye for design, thoughtful communication, and incisiveness. Of the copy editors who answered the call, Anna Iglitzin emerged as an energetic, empathic, and skilled Copy Chief who helped us with the time-consuming work of setting up the web structure and style guide (though sadly, Anna had to bow out after one issue). This new team of editors worked out how to operate this new online iteration of the newspaper, clarifying the statement of intention (see above), implementing news values, moving it onto the web, making design and style guide decisions, and renaming it Committee Connection.
After a year’s issues, Committee Connection gained an Events Editor, Julie Litwin, from the Committee Advisors, who has her finger on the pulse of what’s going on with all the Kehilla teams. Abby dreamt up the regular feature called Leadership Spotlight, and she and Hillary devised the questions to ask member leaders. A group of semi-regular (and excellent) copy editors emerged: Leslie Baker, Dana Bergen, Jody Berke, and Matt Kaplan. The news editors also got the help of one-off copy editors, and put out a call for for web developers, photographers, non-committee interviewers, and so on. Any member or prospective member who has ideas can contact the news editors to get involved, once or ongoing.
Everyone involved hopes that Committee Connection will continue to evolve to best serve Kehilla’s beloved community.