The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, at its International Meeting, held at the world famous Indian Lakes Resort in Chicago on June 5th to 9th , recognized the dynamic Men’s Club of Valley Beth Shalom of Encino by awarding to it the prestigious and highly sought after Torch Award for excellence in Overall Programming. The award was given in recognition of their unique balance of programs for all members of their congregation. For example, VBS Men’s Club found out that there was no place in their area for Jewish singles to meet in a safe and non-threatening environment. They solved this problem by throwing gala dances every two months, which are attended by 400 happy congregating singles.
They also show movies on a wide variety of subjects once a month, along with an inexpensive catered meal, so that congregants can have a night out. In all, they sponsor over a dozen activities for the synagogue and participate in a dozen more synagogue services. Ron Lever, president of the VBS Men’s Club, who made the presentation, said, “We look for a need and then we fill it.”
Richard Gray, head of the selection committee, said that he hopes that other clubs will follow VBS’s lead and adopt some of their successful programs, because Men’s Clubs are service organizations dedicated to the involvement of Jewish men in Jewish life.