If it is September, we are receiving calendars in the mail from our synagogues, organizations or supermarkets because Jewish life revolves around the calendar. It is filled with holiday information, recipes and how-to guides to bring observances to your home or synagogue. This is the outline for our Jewish life cycle. The calendar also is the life cycle of organizations, such as B’nai B’rith.
These events are available to be part of your life too. Each month brings an opportunity to be part of the activities that are planned, whether you can attend in person or learn more about the subject by viewing the on-line story available on the B’nai B’rith website or newsletters.
B’nai B’rith regions and districts and community lodges and units, plan activities that provide social activity and lectures featuring experts on interesting subjects and issues that are important to the Jewish people such as Israel and events in the Middle East. The program planners include fund-raising events such as goods and services auctions, golf outings or a tribute dinner or brunch for a community leader.
Community service events are planned, again, with a look at the calendar to connect with the needs in the community, both for Jewish people in need as well as the general community or for veterans, seniors and sick and needy children. With names such as Schlep Sunday, Operation Brotherhood, Pinch-hitters, Project H.O.P.E., these programs have become representative of the tradition of service in our organization, as the community knows it can count on this activity. It also offers members and supporters an opportunity to do a good deed as volunteers. Individuals look forward to being a part of these programs, not only for the good it does for others, but for the benefit of those who perform this service for those in need.
Holocaust remembrance is on the list of programs that find their place in programming planning, with potential commemoration dates. One is Yom Hashoah, the 27 of Nissan, chosen by the Israeli Knesset to be the Day of Remembrance and a more recent addition, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day selected by the United Nations for its observance on Jan. 27. Another Holocaust related anniversary observed is the commemoration of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, which is observed Nov. 9 and 10. It commemorates the horrifying attacks on Jews in Germany and Austria in 1938 when at least 96 Jews were killed, more than 1,000 synagogues were set on fire, nearly 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed, and countless community centers, libraries and homes were attacked, looted and destroyed. About 30,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps during this time.
As programs are established, we see the structure of a program year take shape, from planning to implementation. For those programs already part of our year, we see what date will work best and check with community calendars to avoid conflicts with other organizations or find new partners for our programming. We also look for unmet needs and see how we can fill those with a new program that we can bring to the community.
We evaluate each program held the previous year to determine if it was successful or whether there is a change needed. Events can be held monthly, quarterly or annually. The Henry Monsky Lodge in Omaha, Neb. could win a most programs planned a year award, as it holds a weekly luncheon, featuring guest speakers on a variety of topics, offered as a place to lunch and learn about something of interest each week along with other special events in the community.
Audiences are identified, with specific program activity such as the B’nai B’rith Young Leadership Network planning its calendar in cities around the world, with activity dedicated to reaching out to young professionals age 22 -40 in a community with social, service and issue oriented programming.
And while you have your calendars in front of you—see the world of programming in action: join us at the annual B’nai B’rith International Policy Forum, Nov. 8-10 and a pre-forum Young Leadership Conference (Nov. 6-8) in Washington, D.C. for a showcase of programs connected to B’nai B’rith.
Click below to register:
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.
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