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.
Hopefully, many of you had the opportunity to enjoy Convention 2015, in Miami, Florida. It was at just such a Convention many years ago that I got ‘hooked’ on FJMC, and learned that Men’s Club goes beyond my synagogue parking lot.
Attending Convention 2017: If you haven’t gone to a convention, I’d urge you to put it on your ‘must-do’ list for 2017, so you’ve got plenty of advance warning. And to make the offer more enticing, the Executive Committee of the FJMC recently voted to sign a contract for convention in the Washington, DC area. Thus, the transportation costs which often accompany convention won’t be a significant factor – its either a ‘hop, skip and jump’ for many of you in the Washington, DC area, or a relatively short drive to our Tidewater and Baltimore (and north) clubs.
Friends of the FJMC Campaign. At the November EC meeting, the FJMC unveiled the Friend of the FJMC Campaign, to allow people like yourself to support the programs and good work of the FJMC message of involving Jewish Men in Jewish life. Like many non-profit organizations, dues that are remitted to the international office only covers a small amount of the expenses of the organization. With a staff of only three (3), consisting of Executive Director Rabbi Chuck Simon, Office Manager Jeremy Kasman, and one administrative person (Kimberly Fuld), we’re very frugal with our expenses, but like other non-profits, we’ve found ourselves to be stretched too thin. Unlike your own club, your synagogue picks up such things as the office and administrative support to put on programs,, the FJMC don’t have that luxury. Everything that happens beyond the club level – Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle program, World Wide Wrap, Keruv, Convention and more, is a result of the international organization. In four words, WE NEED YOUR HELP.
Many of the FJCM and Seaboard Region leadership have already taken the pledge to donate a relatively small amount each month to ensure the financial health and survival of the FJMC. I hope you’ll join me in this worthwhile endeavor. The minimal contribution of Chai ($18.00 a month) will make you Friend, and will help ensure the financial life of the organization. Here’s the link to make your contribution.
FJMC Mission to Israel: While my wife and I have been to Israel a number of times – most recently to attend a cousin’s wedding (and me at the World Zionist Congress in October), and I’ve taken many a normal tour of the historical sites, the FJMC has organized an incredible High Tech Israel Adventure – Israel, the Start Up Nation. We’ll be meeting with high-tech entrepreneurs, visiting emerging start-up incubators for renewable energy, bio-tech, and the environment, visiting world leading research universities, and the Weizman Institute and the Technion, and lots more. The trip is from May 26 to June 5th, and my wife and I have sent in our reservation and deposit. Greg and Linda Gore are also going. Contact either of us for additional information. The link for further information is here.
Minyan of Comfort. If you didn’t come to Convention 2015, it is likely you haven’t heard of a new initiative of the FJMC and the Cantor’s Assembly. Throughout the FJMC regions of the United States and Canada, regions are setting up training classes for men (like you) to learn how to lead a ‘shiva minyan,’ which is an important skill, and helps to bring comfort to families at the very difficult time after losing a loved one. The “Creating a Minyan of Comfort Guide” was designed to provide volunteers with the needed, halachic, ritual and social skills to lead a Shiva Minyan in a meaningful and comforting manner. Graduates of the course are entitled to receive a certificate of completion from the FJMC & the Cantors Assembly. (See the FJMC website for details.) The guide addresses the different comfort levels of mourners, desired logistics to create the appropriate mood as well as customs that take place at the conclusion of Shiva. You’ll likely be hearing more about training sessions set up in the Seaboard Region after the first of the year.
Well, that’s enough for one update. As most of you know, the mission of the FJMC is to involve Jewish Men in Jewish Life. The international organization also provides leadership training to regional leadership, like our President Bruce Gordon and First Vice President Alex Pomerantz. One of the signature events of the FJMC year is the Joel Gaffen Leadership Development Institute, which will be held the weekend of January 29-31st. In my next issue, I’ll tell you about what happened during the weekend, and how that will likely affect both your club and the Seaboard Region.