Monthly Archives: May 2012

Yizkor and Memorial Day: An American Jewish Experience

northwestjewishartists.org

I don’t remember experiencing the juxtaposition that occurred today: there were so many strong emotions swirling through my head related to being a Jewish American praying in synagogue on Shavuot.

On Memorial Day.

No mall shopping. No barbecues either hosted or attending.  No parade watching or flag waving. No trips to the shore to inaugurate the summer’s sun.

But I did memorialize on this day–my parents z”l of blessed memory.

 

I said Kaddish for my father who earned a bronze star and purple heart in WWII as a new immigrant soldier–for my mother who came to this country for refuge after losing her parents and nine brothers and sisters in the holocaust — for the millions who perished in the Shoah, and for our valiant soldiers who risk their lives so I can have mine living in freedom.

These emotions were in the context of a holiday that celebrates the gift of Torah to the Jewish people.

On Memorial Day and at Yizkor, we remembered loved ones who died for a cause, and those who died for no cause.  And we hope and pray that through the message of Torah, the world will be a better place.


“Please feel free to contact me…..” Advice for #Jteens and others

Zhuyin on cell phone detail-2

I want to help.

I am currently involved in hiring talent. I say talent because I’m not interested in hiring just anyone. Ideally, the person is a great communicator committed to working with Jewish teens who has program development skills— a person with drive and creativity.

There are more skills needed than those, but this is a blog post not a help wanted ad.

So, how come this is what I usually read at the end of a cover letter?

“Please feel free to contact me by phone or email at your earliest convenience.”

Really? You’re interested in an ‘OUTREACH’ kind of job, and you want me to call you? I should feel free?

For all the recent grads out there, please show your passion and interest for the job by following up.

How?

1. Offer to call to follow up. In many non-profits there isn’t an HR person assigned the task of chasing down candidates. If you want the work, do the work and make the connection yourself.

2. Suggest meeting times

3. Demonstrate that you’ve done some homework on the organization and how you can fit in

4. Keep showing interest. Yes, even if you’re NOT hired! If you’ve made it to the interview, you’ve just spent close to an hour with someone who knows you AND has contacts. What a win-win for you. Seriously, a past client of mine who I encouraged to do this was called within four weeks to let her know that the original hire didn’t work out and could she start immediately?

5. So, you never know.

Feel free to take this advice…or you can always contact me…..See what I mean?


What is the real job we’re doing for Jewish Teens?

One of the "shakes with a punch" at ...

Milkshakes taste good. Jewish education is good. But what job are we really doing for Jewish Teens?

I read an article about marketing today that focused on milkshakes. (Please keep reading, the fact that Jewish teens tend to like a good milkshake or two is not where I’m going).

The author discovered that while milkshake sellers were trying to ‘market’ according to the usual: breakdowns by demographics, flavor choices, etc….the real question to be answered was: What job does the milkshake do for you, and how can we respond to that? 

This is a very different question that may open up opportunities for those of us who work with Jewish teens.

Are we marketing properly?

The author, Clay Christensen, coined the term ‘job-to-be-done’ as a way for marketers to get into the mindset of the consumer. Doing this is essential, as about 95 % of the 30,000 new consumer products fail.

So, the question about what is the job-to-be-done re: #Jteens becomes very relevant, even crucial for our work.

What is the job we are really doing with teens? Is it Jewish education? Or is it really preparation for life? Is it honing their critical thinking skills?

Is it preparing them to take on leadership roles in college? Is it preparing them for Jewish life on campus? Is it giving them an ‘out’ for taking a foreign language in high school?

I suggest that we figure out what we are really doing, and ‘sell’ that.  Let’s drink a milkshake to that one.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


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