I am a very sentimental person. I have trouble throwing things away that are important to me. So, I was not surprised to find a folder with thank you notes and art work from my daughter’s second grade class after I delivered a “job talk” to them. This was part of the curriculum: to learn about how communities work, and learn more about how people who work in their community contribute to society.
The kids had drawn American flags, circles with CVS (Community and Veterans Services) in them and one had an “I love you” from my daughter. It was easy for me to recognize the subject of my talk. It was B’nai B’rith of course, and since it was October 1993, the content centered around the 150th anniversary of B’nai B’rith and our community service agenda. I had handed out our Flag Code of the United States, produced by B’nai B’rith as part of the then CVS and some volunteer buttons as an example of some of the things that B’nai B’rith did.
We recently gave a similar challenge to leaders of B’nai B’rith at the 2016 Leadership Forum, held in Washington, D.C. We assembled a panel of experts who are the chairs and community leaders who deliver community programming year after year. They were given the task to describe in just five minutes their program and provide a take away to provide information on how it is done. The subject matter was diverse and each representative was able to deliver a message from their own heart and experiences and in record time. The time limit was to provide an “elevator speech,” about what can be said to involve people in what we do. The audience in that “elevator” or in your office or living room, is a potential participant, donor or member. If one can describe what a program or mission is all about in this short period, you have done justice to the cause and project you represent.
It is not an easy task, we must thank all of the presenters who shared their information. Presenting at the session were the very talented chairs and community leaders: Mark Ross, president of Tristate Region; Harold Miller, chair Project H.O.P.E.; Harold Steinberg, chair of the Disaster Relief Committee; Eduardo Weinstein, senior vice president of B’nai B’rith Latin America; Eric Engelmayer, senior vice president of B’nai B’rith Europe; Bill Berger, president of the Denver Lodge; Lila and Steven Zorn, co-chairs of Participation; and Eduard Redensky, chair of the Young Leadership Network. Peter Perlman, chair of the Executive Board of B’nai B’rith, served as the moderator.
There is always more information on any of these subjects if you want it from the Program Department and the leaders mentioned above. We are always interested in what you talk about when you talk about B’nai B’rith.
Rhonda Love is the Vice President of Programming for B'nai B'rith International. She is Director of the Center of Community Action and Center of Jewish Identity. She served as the Program Director of the former District One of B'nai B'rith. In 2002 she received recognition by B'nai brith with the Julius Bisno Professional Excellence Award. This June will mark her 38th anniversary at B'nai B'rith. To view some of her additional content, Click Here.