MRJ - WEST "MAN OF THE YEAR" AWARDS BANQUET
MRJ - West (formerly Pacific Southwest Region -MRJ) created an annual Man-of-the-Year awards banquet to recognize and honor the men of the year from each affiliated club. It started in 1999 with only seven clubs participating and has grown steadily over the years to nineteen honorees this year (our thirteenth year). The venues rotate among the temples though it gets harder each year to find affiliated temples with large enough facilities. This year over 260 people attended.
The dinner allows the men to get to meet their counterparts from many other temples and hear about the accomplishments of the men in our Man Of The Year 1999-2011 area. The esprit that has developed has been great and now the men have joint events during the year. It has become the major event of each year and we now are getting many requests from our affiliates to host the dinner at their Temple. Many thanks go to Stuart Aaronson for developing the plaque that we present to each honoree.
LEADERSHIP AND CAMPAIGN RESOURCE HANDBOOKS-
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Brotherhood/Men’s Shabbat Service additional text to complement a Friday night service using Gates of Prayer or the Mishkan T’filah prayer book
Complete handbooks are available by contacting MRJ's National Office at MRJ@urj.org
The following leadership material has been compiled by MRJ to help you be a more effective leader, to be successful brotherhood president. It is based upon the experiences of your predecessors in hundreds of brotherhoods and men’s clubs across North America. It based is upon their experiences combined with sound organizational theory.
Let’s get started…
- Exodus 18:13-27 - Next day, Moses sat as magistrate among the people, while the people stood about Moses from morning to night. But when Moses’ father-in-law saw how much he had to do for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing to the people? Why do you act alone, while all the people stand about you from morning to evening?” Moses replied to his father-in-law, “it is because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, it come before me, and decide between a man and his neighbor, and I make known the laws and teaching of God”
- But Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing you are doing is not right; you will surely wear yourself out, and these people as well. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me. I will give you counsel, and God will be with you! You represent the people before God: you bring the disputes before God, and enjoin upon them the laws and the teachings, and make known to them the way they are to go and the practices they are to follow. You shall also seek out from all the people capable men who fear God, trustworthy men who spurn ill-gotten gain. Set these over them as chiefs of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, and let them judge the people at all times. Have them bring every major dispute to you, but let them decide every minor dispute themselves. Make it easier for yourself, and let them share the burden with you. If you do this - and God commands you - you will be able to bear up; and all these people too will go home unwearied.”
- Moses heeded his father-in-law and did just as he had said. Moses chose capable men out of all Israel, and appointed them heads over the people - chiefs of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens; and they judged the people at all times: the difficult matters they would bring to Moses, and all the minor matters they would decide themselves. Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way to his own land.
‘THE SHORT COURSE ON LEADERSHIP’:
- The SIX most important words: “I admit I made a mistake”
- The FIVE most important words: “You did a good job”
- The FOUR most important words: “What is your opinion”?
- The THREE most important words: “If you please”
- The TWO most important words: “Thank you”
- The ONE most important word: “We”
- The LEAST important word: “I”
Remember: Praise in Public, Criticize in Confidence
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Successful Brotherhoods Grow! But it doesn’t happen by accident. Here are some of the strategies and plans that have been successful at a number of Brotherhoods, both large and small. The specific concepts should be adapted to the unique personality and character of your Brotherhood.
- The leadership of Brotherhood – and that means the president, the officers, and all the members of his board - have to be committed to engaging in an on-going membership campaign.
- Growth means the recruitment of new people, who bring new ideas, new volunteers, and yes, new “blood’, to your brotherhood.
- Long-term growth also requires integrating new members into the brotherhood and retaining current members.
- Recruitment – Retention – Integration – these are all components of a successful brotherhood membership campaign. They are all components of a successful Brotherhood Marketing Campaign.
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To state the obvious, there are no guarantees: some brotherhoods are successful running the same raffle, for example, year after year, raising $3,000-4,000 each year; another brotherhood, perhaps in a different community, will try the ‘same’ raffle and fail to break even. Upon closer inspection, it will usually turn out the two brotherhoods are not running the raffle the same way. One club has a history of running raffles and has a pre-existing community base to sell to. One club selects more appropriate/appealing prizes. One carefully promotes the raffle through a number of publicity vehicles. One has ‘pre-sold’ the idea to many of its brotherhood members so they are quite willing to sell the raffles, etc. Or there are other considerations: e. g., perhaps there were other raffles being offered in the community, perhaps the number of raffles that were expected to be sold was unrealistic, perhaps the cost for the raffle was too high for the economic situation of the intended audience, etc.
Suggestions on Successful Fundraising:
- Ad Journals… Art Auctions… Book Fairs… Calendars... Catering…Comic Book/Memorabilia Shows…Dinner and Dancing… ‘Famous’ Guest Speakers…Hearts and Flowers… Honoring Events…Luncheon/Program Speakers…Mother Day Programs…Raffles...Sports Celebrities…Tag Sales…Temple Directories… [ADD YOUR FAVORITE FUND RAISER HERE!]
- Successful fundraising projects are critical for most Brotherhoods because income from membership dues is not usually sufficient to meet all of a club's expenses. MRJ also recognizes that many brotherhoods engage in the same ‘fund raising activity’, but do not necessarily have the same goals in mind: i.e., what one brotherhood promotes as a big fund raiser, another brotherhood promotes as much for its social or educational value. There is no right or wrong, but a brotherhood leadership should be very clear as to its purpose(s) when engaging in any activity, especially fundraising activities which often have high initial outlays of money.
- There are brotherhoods that engage in multiple fundraising projects each year; there are others that plan only one big event each year. Some brotherhoods – and this is not directly correlated to their own size or the size of their congregation – annually raise over $10,000 with just one event; others consider themselves lucky if they net $1,000 for the whole year through multiple events.
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Criteria for Successful Brotherhood Programming:
- Brotherhood programs should be a well-planned system of activities, integrated with other temple programs, directed toward specific congregational and community needs, and regularly modified to reflect changes in the temple and its community.
- There are three basic criteria involved in developing a successful Brotherhood program.
- The first step is to review and then prioritize the Brotherhood's objectives in serving the temple, the community, and Reform Judaism. One strategy is to supplement rather than to duplicate functions and services. Another is to search for new program opportunities appropriate to Brotherhood's goals.
- The second step is to tap the available human resources whose talent, skills and/or interests can provide program opportunities. It is vital to understand that people contribute their services because they receive satisfaction from their involvement.
- Thirdly, each program must be evaluated on the basis of meeting the Brotherhood's objectives, and filling an identified need within the temple or community.
- Factors in successful programming include
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- Developing a full year's programming early, establishing a budget and building flexibility into the operations.
- Detailed planning also enhances the potential for success. It is important to target tasks and assign them to responsible individuals. All tasks must be followed up to see that they are done.
- It is vital to keep detailed records of each event to avoid reinventing the wheel and provide plans for recreating winners and avoiding losers.
- Care should be taken to mention the people who do the work and attend the event. This will serve as a means of recognizing those who contributed to a program's success, thus encouraging these people to participate in future events. Temple bulletins are an excellent source to thank those who helped you run a worthwhile Brotherhood activity.