The results are in! MZ Survey affirmations and surprises

This email was sent to the congregation on February 4, 2021.

Dear Friends,

This past High Holy Days, as we do every few years, we conducted a congregational survey. We emailed 812 Mount Zion congregants a link to the survey, and 426 responded, a response rate of 52%, which is a high rate for an online survey.

We were able to compare the results to the same survey done in 2017. What did we learn? Some affirmations.

  • In every category, congregants are more positive about Mount Zion in 2020 than they were in 2017.
  • The clergy, lay leadership, Religious School, and staff are held in high regard.
  • 95% of respondents would recommend Mount Zion to a friend.
  • Even despite online learning during the pandemic, 98% of Religious School family respondents would recommend the Religious School.

We also added new questions to this survey related to life during the pandemic with some surprises.

  • Satisfaction with personal levels of involvement at Mount Zion rose during the pandemic (69% were satisfied with their involvement before the pandemic and 75% during.)
  • Despite not being in person, many have found sustained connections by reading the Weekly Online Bulletin (74%), participating in Mount Zion Small Groups (69%), and attending Online Zoom Services (76%).
  • In the future, almost three-quarters of those responding would like to see online options sustained in some way (absolutely – 41%; moderately – 30%.)

And did you know?

  • Our membership has remained steady despite changing demographics. We have maintained around 650 households for about 20 years with many new members a year, even as families and individuals have moved on or away and with the natural flow of life and death.
  • Our financial situation is solid even in these challenging times. We have invited your generosity, and you have responded especially in response to this past year. Our Annual Campaign has exceeded its goal over several years, and our once-in-a-generation Endowment Campaign has passed $5 million as we continue to invite community participation.

Special thanks to Jean King Appelbaum, Lija Greenseid, and Sandy Weisberg for shepherding the survey process and presenting the results. For a PowerPoint presentation of the results click here and for a summary of the comments click here. The clergy, staff, and lay leadership have been looking over the comments and finding ways to implement many of the suggestions offered.

And finally, because it is a gray February and clearly we love our surveys, here is a link to the results of the 2019 Twin Cities Jewish Population Study. Marisa Gage of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation created a wonderful presentation that is tailored for Mount Zion that you might also find interesting.

All surveys – including these – provide only impartial and imperfect snapshots. However, we can use the information to help us plan for our future – your future. We hope you’ll take the time to read this information and join us in that exciting endeavor. Our next open meeting, called our Kehillah Council, is on Tuesday, February 9 at 7 pm.

Stay safe and be well,

Michael Kuhne, President

Adam Stock Spilker, Rabbi