Why create Mosaic?

The Mosaic project was conceived to respond to a number of key challenges, opportunities and trends that face Anglo-Jewry in the 21st century:

The growth of mixed faith and other non-traditional relationships, to the point where the majority of Jewish children are not in “traditional” Jewish families…
Implication: Mosaic needs to take a different approach to welcoming, accepting and catering for the needs of mixed faith and other non-traditional families.

Expectations of what we can and should provide are being raised and changed by organisations such as Limmud, JW3, Moishe House, Wandering Jews…
Implication: Mosaic will operate as a single cross-communal organisation with “separate” activities largely confined to Ritual. We need to “raise our game” in the quality and breadth of our activities.

A significant discontinuity in attitude and behaviour of the under 40 age group, together with the trend away from synagogue membership and the rise of Jewish day schools and other “competitors” to the traditional synagogue membership model…
Implication: Mosaic needs to take a different approach to what we do and how we do it – trying out new activities, testing our ideas with the unaffiliated and uninvolved, and being relevant to Jews of all ages and opinions.

Increasing concentration of the Jewish community into Barnet and Hertsmere, though also a greater geographic dispersal of significant numbers of Jewish families into other areas…
Implication: Mosaic needs to target a wider geographic area across the boroughs of Brent, Harrow, Hertsmere, Hillingdon and beyond.

The older synagogues in Mosaic can see this as a continuation of trends we have experienced over the past 50+ years – synagogue communities established in Wembley seeing members migrate to Kenton, Pinner and beyond. This trend clearly seems to be continuing and we need and intend to respond to it – ensuring that our new Mosaic community is relevant for Jews in Bushey and Pinner as well as to Jews who live over a wider area including our older heartlands and a wider geographical range.

If you’d like to understand where the name and identity “Mosaic” came from:  Mosaic_Identity _story

We owe a debt of thanks to the Institute for Jewish Policy Research for their research that has guided our decisions in shaping and forming Mosaic. Building on their work we conducted our own research involving over 400 people including members of our synagogues, and people not currently affiliated to any synagogue. Many thanks to Pete Maginn in particular for leading this work, which refined the generic conclusions drawn from JPR’s insights into the context of our new Mosaic Community.

Our own research concluded (this is a simple summary of a rather large amount of work) that we see ourselves and are seen as:  welcoming, friendly, supportive, inclusive, family-friendly and inter-generational for all ages.

We have opportunities to learn from each of the synagogues as each one of our synagogues brings particular strengths in some of the above aspects. Our challenge is to build on these strengths in a number of key respects:

Living our values and being focused on where we can make a difference – avoiding the tendency for synagogues to be overly focused inwardly on the needs of the organisation, and instead inspiring ourselves to genuinely choose our Jewish Life with all that implies.

Meeting the diverse and evolving range of spiritual needs of our current and future members through meaningful ritual. This is at the heart of the synagogues’ remits in Mosaic and we believe that the synagogues will be able to focus on this far more effectively within Mosaic than we each could previously on our own and in isolation.

Beyond the Deal have generously supported us in shaping the new Mosaic organisation and providing insights into setting our priorities and forming our new team. The work carried out (again this is a simple summary of a rather large amount of work) identified that there was broad alignment across the three synagogue leadership teams and that where differences existed these were primarily around the age of respondents rather than between synagogues – with our younger community leaders developing new ways to build consensus and enable far more delegation of authority to teams and individuals trying out new things.

We are proud of the attitudes of our older members in supporting the changes being made for the future of our Community and note as an example a comment from one of our 80 year-old members at one of the general meetings: “I may not be around to taste the fruit or enjoy the shade but I am proud to have the opportunity and mitzvah of helping plant the tree.”

Mosaic is not a business: it is definitely a Community.  However we are able to take advantage of the personal and business skills our members bring to the Community and we use these to develop our Community for the benefit of our members and the wider world.