Kahan's Korner - News from International

Allan Kahan from Ohr Kodesh is a former Seaboard Regional President.  The Seaboard Region is delighted that in addition to his role as FJMC webmaster, he was recently installed as International Secretary. We look forward to Allan keeping us abreast of the latest developments at the executive level.  

 Hi! I’m Allan Kahan, and this is Kahan’s Korner. From time to time I’ll update you on things International. As we head toward the secular new year, there is lots happening with the FJMC.

  •  New Tag Line.  Earlier this year, the FJMC adopted a new tag line and updated logo.  Our tag-line, “FJMC:  Leadership… Innovation…. Community, will be something you’ll be seeing more of in the coming months, unifying our message, and accurately explains what we do:   Leadership –mentoring leaders at the club, region and international level, Innovation - developing programming that better connects people of all ages to the Jewish community,  Community –forming meaningful long-lasting relationships based on camaraderie, common interests and core values.
  • New Website.  Development of a new website.  When we realized there were limitations to our website, we decided to rebuild it from the ground-up, using new software, and that would work seamlessly with our new database system.  And Andy Simon, of New England Region, has joined me in developing and updating the new website.
  • New Database. We’re in the process of finishing a new database system for both the office and your club and region.  The region will be able to update its officer list and information from any internet connected computer, and the club will be able to make changes to its membership list (including new addresses, email information, etc.) also from any internet-connected computer.
  • 2013 International Convention.  Plans are well under way for the upcoming International Convention, to be held outside of Boston, Massachusetts from July 24-28, 2013.  Registration opens December 15th (after Shabbat).  Seaboard Region provides generous subsidies for both first-time attendees ($500.00) and repeat visitors ($400.00).  The ruach and learning you’ll come back with make it a must do experience.
  • New Publications.  The FJMC recently published two new books.  Understanding the Haftarot, by Rabbi Simon, Executive Director, FJMC, provides the reader with the context to understand how the haftarot were organized, why they might have been selected and suggests reasons for finding meaning and value.  And Intermarriage: Concepts & Strategies for Families and Synagogue Leaders, reflects the most current thinking about intermarriage to date and attempts to provide family members and community leaders with the needed understanding to effectively work with intermarrieds or potential intermarrieds.
  • Enhanced Hearing Men’s Voices Program.  To be unveiled at Convention 2013, we’re exploring various additional ways for men to talk about the meaningful issues of their life.  These new formats have been tested at a number of regional retreats around the country, and plan to make convention 2013 most meaningful on a personal level as well.
  • Continuing the Keruv Discussion.  The FJMC has joined forces with the Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University guide your congregation in lowering barriers to participation in synagogue life and raising the level of engagement of all of your diverse members. The program blends assessment, training, action, and research. These components focus on synagogue policies and practices that affect welcoming and engagement, and on people’s thoughts and feelings about the congregational community and their part in it.
  • Heneni.  In the Torah, when G-d called to Abraham and Moses, they responded:  “Heneni – Here I am!”  If you’d like to show your support for the innovative work of the FJMC, and receive an attractive pin displaying your commitment, log on to the website to learn about your friends and brothers who have made the commitment.

At the end of January, the Joel Gaffen Leadership Development Institute is held in Seaboard Region’s very own Pearlstone Conference Center (where the region holds its Retreat).  Upcoming leaders from around the country spend an intense and ruach-filled weekend learning skills that will help them lead their regions and work with other leaders from around the country.  If you ever wanted a reason to get involved in regional leadership, the opportunity to be in attendance at LDI is a strong one.  The FJMC’s Executive Leadership holds in meeting that weekend as well.

Well, that should show you that on the international level, the FJMC is not standing still.   In early February, I’ll post an update.