Hearing Men's Voices


Hearing Men’s Voices (HMV) is a program that engages men in Jewish life by building male relationships and extending Jewish community. Hearing Men's Voices facilitates intimacy among men through dialogue. Men meet in groups to discuss common issues. The quality of dialogue can be rich and enjoyable.

Jewish men face unique challenges. Women have made dramatic progress in the workplace, the synagogue, the community and the home. Notably, women have utilized female support groups to improve their role in society. Jewish men are ready for greater male intimacy, and they are looking for male forums. Men’s Clubs are the natural venue for Jewish men to engage in quality conversations.

The FJMC has prepared wonderful materials to facilitate the creation and management of Hearing Men’s Voices groups. Below are overviews of some of the materials. Visit the FJMC Store to order the materials you need for your club.

Table of Contents

Volume 1 – Our Fathers, Ourselves

This volume explores the often-complex relationship between a man and his father, from both sides. Some programs refer to our relationships with our fathers, while others examine our relationships with our sons. In all, the 8 programs in this series allow men to examine some of the issues involved in these relationships, in a non-threatening, Jewish environment.

Our relations with our fathers

  • Program 1: The First Kiss - Examination of the father-son relationship
  • Program 2: Doing Your Blessings - Encouraging men to give and receive blessings
  • Program 3: Communicating With Your Teenager - Understanding some of the issues involved in parenting a teenager
  • Program 4: The Wicked Child - Handling adolescent rebellion – I
  • Program 5: The Rebellious Child - Handling adolescent rebellion – II
  • Program 6: Blessing Our Toddlers and Young Children - Starting family rituals
  • Program 7: Reverence and Honor - Dealing with issues of aging parents
  • Program 8: Writing an Ethical Will (1 or 2 sessions) - How to pass our values to our children

Volume 2 – Body and Spirit: Men Staying Healthy and Fit

As men, we have grown up to feel that it is our role to be strong and virile. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way, certainly not on a permanent basis. We age, we get sick, we lose our hair, we allow ourselves to get out of the physical condition that we used to pride ourselves in. The 15 programs in this series allow a Men’s Club/Brotherhood to address the health care concerns of its members, and to provide a real service to all members of their communities.

  • Program 1: Why Don’t Men Seek Health Care? - Examining why men often avoid obtaining health care
  • Program 2: In Sickness and In Health, I Do Thee Wed - Dealing with chronic illness of a spouse
  • Program 3: Depression in Men - Exploring an issue that is usually not talked about
  • Program 4: The “Annual Physical”…What Do You Really Need? - Identifying necessary routine health maintenance for men
  • Program 5: Cancer In Men: Reducing the Risks - Exploring current information about cancer, primarily as it relates to men
  • Program 6: Coronary Risk Factors for Men - Current thinking about prevention of coronary heart disease
  • Program 7: Hair Loss in Men - Living with baldness
  • Program 8: The Prostate, Impotence, and More - Discussing common urological problems of men
  • Program 9: Alternative Health Care: Vitamins, Echinacea, Herbal Therapy, Acupuncture, Massage, and More - Exploring alternative health care options
  • Program 10: Snoring: Pills, Patches, and Potions…Is There Hope? - Discussing the causes, effects, and treatments of snoring
  • Program 11: Jewish Medical Directives for Health Care - The Jewish perspective on planning for health care contingencies
  • Program 12: Weight Training: Are You Kidding? - Using exercise to improve health, strength and appearance
  • Program 13: Jewish Healing: What Is It All About? - Exploring how our tradition helps us to cope with disease
  • Program 14: Health Fair - How to organize and run a successful health fair
  • Program 15: Men’s Health Information on the World Wide Web - Providing men with additional sources of health information

Volume 3 – Listening to God’s Voice

Most of us had Jewish training in our youth, culminating in the ritual of Bar Mitzvah. For many of us, unfortunately, we have not given too much thought to God and the role of religion in our lives most of the time since then. We are too busy with the other aspects of being an adult male to think of our spirituality, and the role that God could play in our daily lives. This series of 13 programs allows men to explore ways that God does have a role in our lives, and how we can enhance our quality of life by increasing the role of spirituality in it.

I. Encountering God in Crisis

  • Program 1: Hezekiah Fell Dangerously Ill - Exploring ways men react to crisis situations
  • Program 2: The Mourner’s Kaddish - Discussing a traditional way to listen to God’s voice in tragedy
  • Program 3: A King Hears God’s Voice – But Does He Listen? - Examining alternatives to listening to God’s voice in crisis
  • Program 4: The Book of Job: A Prototype of Encountering God in Crisis - Understanding how to deal with the trials and tribulations of life

II. Experiencing God’s Wonder

  • Program 5: Creating a Spiritual Autobiography - Writing a document that will help men understand the spiritual dimension of their lives
  • Program 6: Birth, Bar Mitzvah and Marriage - Exploring how men feel God’s presence at key life cycle events
  • Program 7: Dreams - Integrating our aspirations with our understanding of God’s will
  • Program 8: Opening the Soul for God - Exploring barriers to listening to God’s Voice

III. Encountering God through Prayer

  • Program 9: Tefillin: The Intimacy of Prayer - Understanding the mitzvah of putting on tefillin
  • Program 10: Does God Have Sexual Characteristics? Gender and the Liturgy - Examining the issue of gender in liturgy, and exploring our personal relationship to God
  • Program 11: The Name of the Lord - Learning to embody God in our lives
  • Program 12: Seudah Sh’lish’t - Creating a special Shabbat program for men
  • Program 13: The Bris: Do Our Lives Reflect Our Covenant with God? - Exploring men’s sexuality and behavior

Volume 4: Work and Worth

Edited by Daniel M. Kimmel

Groundbreaking essays on the significance of work in menís lives. Includes structured program ideas to explore work-related topics in your community. Covers everything from security issues to workplace ethics, illness, and the loss of a job. Contributors range from doctors and lawyers to rabbis and cabinetmakers.

  • Program 1: Self Definitions -Are we defined by our work?
  • Program 2: Work and Family -Juggling work and family responsibility
  • Program 3: Work and Ethics
  • Program 4: What is Success? -a discussion for teens and young adults Program
  • Program 5: Mid life job loss
  • Program 6: Returning to Work after illness
  • Program 7: Handling Business crisis
  • Program 8: Retirement
  • Program 9: Networking

Volume 5: Jewish Men at the Crossroads








It's often said that, when lost or at a crossroads, men refuse to ask for directions. They would rather stubbornly wander around or go the wrong way than admitting they need help. Here is a phenomenal GPS for men seeking a way forward. The Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs has done it again — a terrific anthology of reflections on men's issues that will enhance your relationships with others, with the community, with Judaism, and with your self.”
-Dr. Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education, American Jewish University; and author, Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community (Jewish Lights Publishing)

“This volume boldly asks the questions in public that the community is privately wondering about Jewish men, their family roles and their future place in the synagogue and Jewish community.”
-Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute and author of many books that bring Jewish wisdom into everyday life, including, most recently, as coeditor of Jewish Men Pray (Jewish Lights Publishing).

  • How do we explain the disappearance of men from the Jewish community?
  • Why do so many of today’s Jewish men find their experience in the synagogue unfulfilling? Indeed why do they stay?

Jewish Men at the Crossroads addresses these and other questions facing modern Jewish men — everything from intermarriage to co-parenting, sexual dysfunction to retirement, the role of men in a post-feminist world to the role of God in men’s lives. Jewish Men at the Crossroads is essential reading for today’s Jewish man.