Hi everyone! It’s Liam Klass, your Programming Vice President, back again for another blog post. Before we dissect this month’s leadership topic, I wanted to debrief a bit on recent events in NFTY-GER. The Rutgers Hillel Shabbat Services and Dinner experience was truly incredible! Being able to sing loudly and proudly with current GERites and NFTY-GER Alumni during services with Rutgers Hillel was really cool, especially because as a UMC Alum (Urban Mitzvah Corps) I found myself back in New Brunswick. Then, ending the night with Thomas Sweets ice cream was the cherry on top (no pun intended). It wasn’t long until our region came back together to support our regional Mitzvah Corps program at its 50th Anniversary auction. I enjoyed spending the evening with our community and meeting some alumni from the program. I am already counting down the days until our region will come back together in Franklin Lakes for Elections on March 22nd.
Now for the leadership lesson: I’m excited to dive deep into the world of Membership and Recruitment with all of you! I was able to have conversations with Matt Goralnick and other TYG Membership Vice Presidents about their experiences with membership and how to be an effective leader. During our conversations, they emphasized three main principles of NFTY-GER: friendships, communication, and extended leadership.
The main reason many of them chose to stay in NFTY-GER was because of the friendships he formed at events. They emphasized inclusivity and they strive to make NFTY a community for those who didn’t feel at home. They also enjoyed seeing participants make connections and form tighter bonds with one another.
One way to make these simple connections is through the use of Mixers. Mixers are designed to be fun interactions that allow participants to learn something about each other. Programs often start with brief mixes to allow participants to get to know each other and find common interests.
Matt additionally talked about how communication plays an integral role in increasing and retaining members. Resources such as the NFTY-GER Phone Tree allow teen leaders to reach out to their peers before a NFTY event and describe the general themes and programming. Also, post-event conversations and feedback surveys can be really helpful when deciding what programming looks like for future events. The Steps to Membership include how to get people in the door, what happens once they’re there, and information regarding post-event conversations.
The final principle Matt mentioned was the importance of extended leadership across all participants of NFTY-GER. Participants do not have to hold a regional board position to get involved in the behind-the-scenes leadership that happens in the region; there are many opportunities for teen leaders to get involved at each event. For example, Matt enjoys how the Big-Little Program operates. Working with Jaiden Price, they were able to pair older GERites, who have attended numerous events, with littles (people who are attending their first NFTY-GER event) based on their personalities and interests. Matt and Jaiden then are able to run a program for bigs and littles to learn more about NFTY and bond with one another.
Membership and Recruitment are not theoretical sciences. There are many different techniques leaders can use to increase membership at events and certain techniques work for certain people. Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to Becca Wycoff, NFTY-GER Recruitment Vice President, at email@example.com, or me, your NFTY-GER Programming Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NFTY-GER Programming Vice President 5779-5780