As the years go by, the specifics may have changed, but I see each program taking form as a six point star (especially since it makes a very nice visual on a power point presentation!).
- How do we relate to Israel as Jews?
- How can we care about and connect with international Jewry?
- How do we define ourselves as Jew and seek an identity?
- How do we provide for the financial needs of our family and the institutions we support?
- How do we relate to our family as we move through the stages of our lives?
- How we can stay happy and healthy by making a difference in the world?
There are professional trend spotters that will look for cultural and societal trends in the world. Some are called futurists and invent terms we use without even realizing that someone has coined that phrase. In B’nai B’rith, we look at these trends as well and what we see in the news to connect issues to our audience.
You do not have to be a trend spotter or a programmer to see these subjects as important to people. It is most likely a topic that is important to you. In B’nai B’rith, these topics are reviewed by the program centers and committees that provide content for the events that are brought to B’nai B’rith and the community audiences.
We have also offered an interest census to help us understand what is important in programming. The topics come from the themes mentioned above, the news headlines, or as we see them defined during an election year, the topics that are on political party platforms. It may have been a recent lecture topic at other organizations or the result of the consensus of coalitions we are part of, to provide a thematic approach to a subject for the Jewish community to educate itself and act with a unified communal response.
In B’nai B’rith lodges or units, the interest census topics are solicited during a discussion and then ranked by individuals as programs that participants would like to see in their group. I invite you to offer your own topics and comments on what you think are important topics to explore in this way. The Program Department is here to help you with this and other program information you will find on the B’nai B’rith website.
I hope that you will be attending the Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. this Sept. 10 to Sept. 12. The agenda is packed with issues that are facing the Jewish community here in the United States and around the world. It is always especially interesting to hear the perspective of leaders from other countries and the diversity of thinking of those who live in another part of the United States, that impact their position on an issue. We will be taking a closer look at how to bring these programs to your community at a special session focused on programming at the forum.
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 B’rith with the Julius Bisno Professional Excellence Award. This June will mark her 39th anniversary at B’nai B’rith. To view some of her additional content, Click Here.