Leadership Team Meetings


AUGUST 21, 2014

For Posting on SeaboardFJMC.org

Attendees: Hal Freed, Bruce Gordon, Gary Smith, Vic Cohen, Jordan Rosner, Ed Rosenzweig, Ken Shere, Greg Gore, Michael Freilich, Bernie Rod, Alan Chickinsky, Fred Rapaport Barry Landau, David Kaszowicz, and Bob Watts, Dr. Craig Schranz.

The meeting, held by video conference, was called to order by Seaboard President Hal Freed at 8:00 PM. Hal Freed led the meeting. The video conference operator was Bruce Gordon.

President’s Overview– Busy Summer Great Retreat – Focus on the Future

The Retreat was a success! It combined friendship, learning, and fun. Sixty-three men from 14 clubs attended. A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Jack Herman for his many years of service and contributions to Men's Clubs and the FJMC, including Adas Israel, the Seaboard Region, and various FJMC activities. Jack, over 90 years old, has been to every Seaboard Retreat.

Michael Freilich has earned the Seaboard Masim Tovim award for 2015-17. He is an overall mensch! Among his achievements is his outstanding support of Keruv. He will receive his award at the 2015 FJMC Convention.

Hal congratulated the 10 Seaboard Clubs that received the coveted Quality Club Award for the 2013-2014 year. They are listed in the attachment.

The following changes have been made to Seaboard’s Leadership team: Barry Landau has joined as Seaboard Secretary and member of the Executive Board; Ken Sherehas joined as Washington West District Director; Alan Chickinsky has formally taken on the role of Manager of Technology and New Media; Vic Cohenhas been promoted from Webmaster in Training to Webmaster; Bob Watts has moved into the role of Advisor for IT; Bob is now the Olam Tikvah Club President.

Next, Hal announced the amount that, at the Retreat, was collected for Zedekah. The funds were distributed to Masorti Kehillot in Southern Israel. Additionally, Hal listed the donations to each of the following organizations: Friends of the IDF; The Jewish Community of Lugansk, Ukraine, and Masorti Israel.

Hal then announced that the Region’s membership growth contest was won by Agudas Achim Men’s Club of Alexandria, VA with a 10% membership increase. Agudas MC will receive three tickets and paid parking to a Washington Redskins game.

Hal then turned his attention to the coming year. The focus will be on working to improve existing clubs. Hal and Bruce will be visiting Seaboard clubs. Seaboard will work with Har Tzeon Agudas Achim of Silver Spring, MD, which has shown an interest in affiliating with Seaboard. There will be additional Webinars, and a BY Breakfast and Dinner, and the next FJMC Convention in Miami Beach, July 8-15, 2015.

Overview of Calendar –2014-15

Hal went over highlights of the calendar for the upcoming year. “It’s Academic,” continues with first round matches this fall in Baltimore, Montgomery County, NoVA, and Olney. A Webinar on the Yellow Candle Program will be held Tuesday, November 18, 2014. A Team Leadership Video Conference will be held on Thursday, December 4, 2014.

Things heat up in the new calendar year. January brings our Hampton Roads BYMOY Breakfast(1/18/15) and Leadership Development at Pearlstone (1/23-25/15).

February brings the World Wide Wrap (2/1/15) and the much awaited Blue Yarmulke is for Lovers Golden Anniversary Gala (2/14/15); this is a Saturday night.. On Sunday, March 1, 2015, Seaboard’s Annual Board of Director’s Meeting will be held. Yom Hashoah observance will occur on April 19. It’s Academic finals will be held on May 17. International FJMC Convention is set for July 8-15.

Treasurer’s Report

The amount in the Seaboard account balance as of August 19, 2014 was announced. Additional net income is expected for the fiscal year ending August 2014. Estimated net income for the full fiscal year was announced, and how much above budget it was. The following items of the Budget were discussed:

Blue Yarmulke Dinner: Net income, and amount that it exceeded budget amount. Yasher Koach to First Vice President and BYMOY Chairman Bruce Gordon.

Yellow Candle Program: Under a new Seaboard Program initiated to encourage club participation, funds were lent to three clubs: Agudas Achim, Shaare Torah, and Beth El (Harrisburg). A substantial loss was budgeted. However, each club was successful with its Yellow Candle Program, and the loans were repaid to Seaboard. This was not income, as we avoided a budgeted loss. Each of the clubs also made money, which was then contributed to a charity.

Retreat: Seaboard incurred a loss on the Retreat, vs. a lower budgeted loss. Seaboard heavily subsidizes the costs of the Retreat, as it is an important program benefiting our clubs. Hence, it was budgeted as a loss. Seaboard’s costs were approximately twice the amount that participants were charged. Seaboard’s loss was more than budgeted because attendance was higher than expected, the early bird registration discount reduced income, and our contract covered 65 vs the 63 who actually attended.

Retreat Survey

This discussion was led by Alan Chickinsky. Alan stated that 19 of the 63 attendees completed the survey, compared to 29 in 2012, when attendance was lower. The survey asked five questions.

Comments on the survey and discussion during the meeting ran the gamut. Rabbi Arnowitz, and his choice of teaching the book, “The Seven Questions You Will Be Asked in Heaven,” received favorable comments. Paul Davidson’s contribution on Hearing Men’s Voices was also received favorably. Some thought services were overly long. Ed Rosenzweig, Ritual Chair, in answer to a question about how to make services move faster, said that we give everyone a little reminder card when they register informing them when they have honors, so there is no reason why they can’t be prepared. During the conference call, others said that we shouldn’t repeat the Shacharit and Musaf Amidahs, but we actually did not do that. There was agreement that Retreat was a great way to meet guys, a good learning experience, and fun to boot. The Retreat Committee, led by Jeff Fredman was given a Yasher Koach for doing a great job.


Mark Berlin, chairman, was not on the videoconference, so Hal skipped this topic.

2015 Blue Yarmulke

Discussion was led by Bruce Gordon Blue Yarmulke is for Lovers Chairman. Alex Pomerantz is the Co Chair.

The Hampton Roads Blue Yarmulke Breakfast will be held Sunday, January 18, 2015, at Rodef Shalom, Hampton, VA.

The Blue Yarmulke Dinner will be held on Saturday night, February 14, 2015, at B’nai Tzedek, Potomac, MD. This is the Silver Anniversary of this event. The theme is “Blue Yarmulke is for Lovers.” There will be more music and dancing, and less talk. The event will also be “greener,” as the full dinner journal provided in the past will be replaced by a virtual journal that will be viewable on the website as tickets and tributes are sold, and there will be individual journals for each Honoree.

Important Information: Clubs should designate a Liaison to work with the BY Committee by September 24. BY Honoreesshould be selected by October 15. Club Pics and other Informationrequested by the BY Committee should be submitted by December 15.

Quality Club Awards

This discussion was led by Hal. He said earning a QC award shows Club excellence, and earns respect for our Clubs within the shul community. It is also a great recruiting tool. There are mandatory and optional requirements to earn a QC award. There are seven mandatory requirements and 18 optional requirements. As a general rule, only 10 of the 18 optional requirements need be met. Hal said that he would be happy to be contacted concerning meeting QC requirements, particularly the Wellness and Hearing Men’s Voices requirements.

Ten Seaboard Clubs won FJMC Quality Club Awards for 2013-14: Agudas Achim, Beth El (Norfolk), Beth Emeth, Beth Israel, B’nai Israel (Rockville), Chizuk Amuno, Har Shalom, Olam Tikvah, Shaare Tikvah, and Shaarey Torah. Yasher Koach!

Next year, Seaboard will do even better.

Membership Growth and Management

This discussion was led by Bruce Gordon. It focused on obtaining new members, retaining existing members, increasing member participation, and keeping members informed of Club, Seaboard, and FJMC programming and resources.

Clubs should utilize new technology. Many younger men are accustomed to using new media, rendering traditional channels of communication ineffective. Some are not used to writing checks. Many use Facebook extensively. Bruce played a video that Olam Tikvah (OT) posts on its website showing how vibrant OT’s MC is. The video can be adapted for other Clubs. Bob Watts was instrumental in producing the video.

Conventional methods of obtaining members are still effective for many men, and should be used. It is recommended that the shul’s High Holiday package contain a Men’s Club application letter, an explanation of MC activities, and membership form. Men’s Club membership can be either on an opt-out or opt-in basis through the synagogue billing. After the holidays, and throughout the year, follow-up with those who haven’t joined should be made through snail mail, email, phone calls, and personal contact, such as at the Kiddush after services, and other shul events. Membership growth is ultimately a one member at a time project.

Some Clubs offer discounts for members to attend selected events, such as Steak and Bourbon Night, as an incentive for men to join.

Clubs should follow up on their members’ interests as expressed on their membership application forms. Members should be kept informed of upcoming Club events and FJMC and Seaboard events and resources, such as Retreat, FJMC’s Hashofar and Unraveller.

Men’s Club presidents should be certain to receive the FJMC Advantage, a publication for club presidents. The editor is Creighton Cohn, a dynamic, young Midwest Region vice president. The email is fjmcadvangtage@fjmc.org.

Club Round Table – What’s Happening

Seaboard Clubs continue to be busy. Har Shalom has a golf outing in October, and is selling Sukkah kits to its members and others. Shaare Torahis taking the lead on the shul’s Sunday morning minyan, and has a Steak and Bourbon night scheduled. B’nai Israelhas a Jews and Brews night scheduled. Many Clubs are coordinating High Holiday ushering, and building congregational sukkoth. Agudas Achim has a Keruv event scheduled for October and a Tikkun Olam event in November as part of the shul’s Centennial Celebration.

Next Meeting

The next Team Leaders’ videoconference will be Thursday, December 4 at 8PM.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 PM.

L’Shana Tova

Respectfully submitted,

Barry S. Landau, Seaboard Secretary

Edited for the Web /GS/VP Communications 10/19/14 – Remove 1/15/2015