FJMC is bringing mezuzot to Cuba in time for the World Wide Wrap! For each $36 donation, we will deliver a mezuzah to a Jewish household that does not have one. Our goal is to bring 400 mezuzot. This means we are looking to raise 400 x $36 = $14,400 by January 26, 2017.
Please CLICK HERE and donate now.
The FJMC, with funding from the National Center to Encourage Judaism, will provide $1,000 grants to the first twenty Conservative/Masorti Congregations in North America meeting requirements for a welcoming website. An application and proposal must be completed online, and the project must be completed by March 6, 2017. As of January 8, 2017, there are 37 applicants including those on a waiting list. For additional information refer to this link.
Rising (2016) by Elyssa Wortzman
A descriptive video explaining Rising is now available by clicking here.
As a result of growing international interest in commemorating Yom HaShoah, FJMC with the aid of noted artist Elyssa Wortzman developed, Rising. The Yellow CandlesTM label, employing Hebrew, Spanish, French and English reflects FJMC’s cooperation with World Jewry. Partners in this endeavor at the Seminario Latinoamericano, Marshal Meyer in Buenos Aires and the Men of Reform Judaism.
The label addresses the question "How do you transmit memory and loss to someone who does not have a direct connection to the past event?”, an increasingly familiar theme today as fewer survivors of the Holocaust remain.
Candles and programmatic material to enrich Holocaust engagement can be found at the Yellow CandlesTM home page.
Yellow CandlesTM featuring Rising will be shipped out on a first come first served basis. Remaining orders will be filled from stock featuring The Mission - by Israeli Artist, Dubi Arie.
World Wide Wrap hats are now available from a separate website. They are great for those who are training others to put on tefillin. They will make your 2017 Wrap extra special.
The hats are available in several styles with two different logos:
- regular WWW logo
- regular WWW logo with "Tefillin Trainer" underneath
We recommend that you go to the top bar of the linked website and choose "shop by logo". It will show you both logos. Choose the logo you want. Then choose the style.
The hats range in price from $18.00 to $22.95. The $22.95 hat comes in specific sizes.
Sustainably sourced compostable dinnerware is an appropriate option for FJMC Club Functions. FJMC has a special purchase agreement with World Centric. World Centric is committed to 100% certified compostable products made from renewable, plant-based materials. From cups, plates, bowls and cutlery to trays, to-go containers, napkins and garbage bags, their 200+ product line meets your foodservice needs both at home and in professional settings. Their products are non-toxic and require less energy to make than petroleum-based products. Best of all, these products will turn to soil when composted, allowing the process of growth to begin again. When you register and apply the coupon code, you will receive a 15% discount. Please review our Shomrei Ha'aretz webpage to find out on how to set up an account.
Hearing Men's Voices ("HMV") is one of FJMC's most popular programs. HMV engages men in Jewish life by building male relationships and extending Jewish community. HMV facilitates intimacy among men through dialogue. Men meet in groups to discuss common issues. The quality of dialogue can be rich and enjoyable.
Sports have been a special draw for men. The FJMC has planned a session on men and sports and prepared a short booklet as a guide: Physically Competitive Sports (You and Your Child) A Facilitator's Guide. We invite you to use this as a springboard for other sesssions on sports, movies, religion, relationships, humor, television, youth, aging - there is a world of ideas for discussion.
For further information on Hearing Men's Voices visit the Programs section our our website.
Rabbi David Wolpe states in his forward - "Royalty, Religion, Sex and Mystery is a book of modern interpretation and midrash. It takes the stories of the Bible, explains them and then helps them come to life. What did the Levite feel as a survivor when the ark fell and Uzzah was killed? What is the story of David confronting a giant supposed to teach later generations? How did the rabbis succeed in making their reading of the text the one that became Judaism as we know it?"
In Royalty, Religion, Sex and Mystery, Rabbi Simon presents us with a great sweep of Jewish History and lore, beginning with the Ark of the Covenant (delightfully told from teh Ark's point of view) to teh establishment of Rabbinic Judaism. Using historical eveidence and various points of view and narrative voice, he retells the Books of Kings and Chronicles. With compassion and humor, he uncovers the possible motivations, thoughts and feelings of teh characters, both men and women. The drama is replete with politics, rebellions, alliances, merciless acts, acts of vengenance, courage, loyalty and pathos. The backdrop is the historical rise of kingdoms and then empires and the develpment of literature, religion, and theology. Rabbi Simon has truly followed Rav Kook's dictum to make the old new, and the new holy. - Dr. Amy L. Sales, Senior Research Scientist, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University
To purchase the book, refer to the FJMC Store.
Early in July, campers from Camp Ramah - Wisconsin were singing along with Norm Kurtz, Orin Rotman and Evan Rumack of Congregation Beth Judea Men’s Club in Long Grove, Illinois. Norm, Orin, and Evan led educational sessions with Solelim and Shoafim about the laws and customs associated with wearing tefillin and answered a variety of questions from campers. We’re very grateful to Norm, Orin and Evan for making the trip to camp and for facilitating a contribution of 15 sets of tefillin to Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Yasher Koach to Congregation Beth Judea Men’s Club, the Midwest Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, the International Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, and various individuals for this meaningful gift.
In the spirit of Klal Yisrael, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Club, Inc. (FJMC) and the Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ) have agreed to collaborate in order to more effectively involve Men in Jewish life. It is our joint belief that inter-Movement cooperation between Men’s groups will enhance our understanding of what is occurring within Jewish families. It is FJMC’s intent to help the Brotherhoods of MRJ become the best Brotherhoods they can be in order to strengthen Jewish life in their synagogues. It is MRJ’s intent to similarly share their resources with the Men’s Clubs of the FJMC. Both organizations are aware of the cultural differences which exist and have pledged to respect those differences. In order to maximize use of resources, both organizations will be serviced from the FJMC Office at 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 832, New York, NY 10115. In a Jewish world that is often divided, we hope this model of increased cooperation will be a symbol of unity and show that we can do so much more working together
The FJMC has launched a Friends of FJMC Campaign.
Those willing to pledge a minimum of $18.00 a month will help ensure that the organization's programs and influence is sustained in the months and years ahead. To learn more about this exciting initiative and how YOU can become a part, click here.
The site of the 2017 FJMC International Convention will be the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Crystal City, VA. There will be programs starting on Monday evening, July 17th.
The dates of the Convention itself are Wednesday, July 19 - Sunday, July 23, 2017. The Woman's League, the parent organiztion of your congregation's Sisterhood, will hold thier Convention immediately thereafter, starting on that Sunday, July 23rd. Washington is a great place to plan a family vacation, with the Holocaust Museum, the Israeli Embassy (a FJMC Reception will be held on Tuesday night at the Embassy, so you'll want to plan to get to Convention early), the Smithsonian Institution and its incredible museums, National Gallery of Art, the Newseum, the Washington National's Baseball Stadium, the Capital, and a host of other attractions for your wife and family.
Bill Becker & Joe Swerdlow, Convention Chair & Co-Chair, are planning an exciting time. Put it on your family calendar!
Since the traditional Shabbat service isn't to everyone's liking, this book, written by Dr. Bob Braitman and Norm Kurtz, two Past International Presidents of the FJMC, and actively involved in exploring other ways to get people involved in prayer, is an excellent resource for experimenting with other types of services which will get members into the door and involved. Sold through Amazon.com, the paperback book is available to be ordered, by clicking on the image of the book.
We've 'partnered' with Amazon for the publication of our new book "Biblical Leadership After Moses." The book was written and published in honor of Captain Ruach, Burt Fischman, receiving the Lifetime Achievment Award from the FJMC. To order and learn more about this exciting publication, click here.
The FJMC and the Cantor's Assembly have jointly published "A Guide to Introducing a Meditative Experience in Congregations." The preface to the paper is available on the following page link (click here), where a complete copy of the paper, in pdf format, can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of the page.
Whether it is to congratulate your club's new officers, or your region's Ma'asim Tovim Honoree, your newly elected Regional Officers, or one of the newly nominated international officers, the Convention Tribute Journal is now 'OPEN FOR BUSINESS / TRIBUTES" and you can place your tribute by clicking on this link.
Tools for Your Shuls, a new newsletter has been launched by the FJMC. It provides congregational leaders and clergy 'tools' and ideas to implement outreach for your congregation, due to the changing demographics of the Jewish community. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here. To download the first issue, click here.
Tribe Magazine, an electronic and hard copy publication for the greater Los Angeles, California Jewish community, highlights the fact that Men’s clubs offer a place for'good ol boys' in Los Angeles, to get and stay involved in their synagogue. The article explains that Men's Clubs can be serious, practical or just plain fun. Read the artticle by clicking here.
Why is it that the use of the Mikvah is one of the most neglected observances, and even - G-d forgive us - a joke in some circles? Times are a changing and more and more Jewish men are discovering the spiritual cleansing and purification of the Mikvah in a spa like environment that is private, clean as well as being darn right luxurious. If there is a joke, it's because many Jewish men still do not know this. For further information and to read the article, click here.
While most of the news involving the United Nations is negative with respect to Israel, our FJMC representative to the UN (as NGO - Non-Goverment Organizations) reports on where the contributions of Israel are being appreciated and suggested implementation for other nations. To read the report, click here.
Strategies for Clergy and Lay Leadership is a new publication by Rabbi Charles Simon, and can be used by any synagogue seeking to adjust to demographic change as a blueprint for discussion and planning. It provides a step-by-step guide to inclusion, taking into consideration the unique culture of each community. To find out more, or to purchase it, click here.
The FJMC has published an Implementation Guide for its recent publication - "Jewish Men at the Crossroads." Jewish Men at the Crossroads represents the most comprehensive collection of Hearing Men’s Voices (HMV) essays to date. The book offers thought‐provoking essays and discussion questions on topics of critical importance to men, andwhich can be used to effectively engage men through HMV programming.
In his July 2012 article, “A Game Plan for Renewal: The Demise of National Movements and their Rebirth,” Dr. Steven Windmueller of the Jewish Institute of Religion at Hebrew Union College reports on his research showing that many religious, political, fraternal and social movements in North America are in decline. He offers several reasons including increasing membership costs, multiple competing causes and interests, the replacement of traditional memberships with social networks, and the lesser interest and loyalty of younger adults to their parents’ institutions. He further suggests that “an increasing secularization of American postmodern society” intensifies this trend for many diverse liberal religious groups, and cites the substantial decline in membership of Conservative synagogues over the past decade as an example.
When I read this article I was a short year away from beginning my term as FJMC president; it impacted my thinking and helped me formulate my vision for FJMC and the types of activities that we should pursue to accomplish that vision. Read Entire Article
There is now an easier way to access the Club and Regional Officer manuals. Just log on to the website (through the Member Log on) and you'll be presented by a new Leadership menu, and within the Leadership Menu are Leadership Documents. You'll see the manuals as the first two entries in the table, and you'll be able to download the pdf's to your computer or mobile device.
In March, Gail and I had the pleasure of traveling to France as part of the 2014 FJMC/Masorti Olami Mission to Provence and Cotè d’Azur. The main purpose of the Mission was to build relationships with the two Masorti congregations in that part of the world, click here
As FJMC works to build and strengthen men’s clubs and at the same time collaborate with other arms of our Movement to address the issues facing Conservative Judaism, it’s been very enjoyable and rewarding for me personally to be able to form good relationships with the leadership of these other organizations. The presidents of United Synagogue and Women’s League and I meet by phone every other month; I serve on the Boards of JTS, the Ziegler School, and Mercaz; and I’m a member of the Leadership Council of Conservative Judaism which includes the professional and lay leadership of every arm of our movement. To read the entire blog, click here.
In this thought provoking article by Rabbi Charles Simon, FJMC and Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute, they discuss what our synagogues might be like were a Conservative/Masorti synagogues choose to respond positively to demographic change implied by intermarriage. And they raise some of the issues that will have to be thoughtfully considered and employed. To read this thought provoking article, click here.
Help us light 1,000,000 candles on Yom HaShoah in memory of the children who were victims of the Holocaust. Yom HaShoah Yellow CandlesTM are now available featuring new artwork by world renowned artist and survivor, Dubi Arie. Check the Yellow Candles pages to find out information about the Yellow Candle program and see a picture of the new candle packaging. Order your candles today. Register your commitment to light a candle on Yom HaShoah. Answer the 1,000,000 Candle Challenge.
Chicago Jewish News Guide to Jewish Chicago, honored our very own Burton Fischman, more commonly known as 'Captain Ruach' for his spirited rendition of Birchat HaMazon (the blessings after a meal), as a Jewish Chicagoan of the Year for 2013-2014. To read the article, in which his FJMC is prominently mentioned, click here. And from his FJMC friends, a hearty (and spirited) Yasher Koach!! And you can leave your comments to Captain Ruach below.
President Myles Simpson unveils an on-line blog, to facilitate communication between members and leadership, about the issues which clubs and members are concerned about. Through this blog Myles hopes to accomplish two key objectives: (1) share information as well as his views on a variety of topics related to FJMC, Men’s Clubs, and the Conservative Movement that you will find interesting and relevant; (2) provide a means for you to comment on what he has written and offer your own views on these topics. The topics that he will cover will range from basic information on how to build and strengthen your club, to provocative issues like the future of the Movement or the role of men in Jewish life. You'll find his blog "Myles Musings" under the About Us menu item.
The Board of Directors of the FJMC has approved an increase in Men's Club dues of $1 per club member, effective in our next fiscal year (starting Sept. 1, 2013). The FJMC is also launching a Membership Campaign for our Men's Clubs to help you grow your membership, starting at Convention. We’re developing new training and promotional materials to help you attract new members, which will also be previewed at Convention. Now here is the real good news - when your club is successful with its membership campaign, it will receive a 50% discount for each new member over your membership totals for the current year as reported to the FJMC. As an example if you grow from 75 members to 85 members next year, instead of your dues being $935 in the following year, they would only be $880. The FJMC is delighted that over the past 10 years we have only raised dues by a $1 and we have been able to keep membership affordable to allow for maximum participation in the organization.
Please share this information with your clubs. A Briefing Package describing the dues increase, membership campaign, and dues discount with details and examples can be downloaded from our website by clicking here. Questions can be sent to Myles Simpson, VP Region and Club Services, at email@example.com.
The Nominating Committee has nominated ....
for the 2013-2015 leadership
- President - Myles A. Simpson (Western)
- First Vice President - Allan Gottesman (Florida)
- Vice-Presidents - Mark Druy (New England), Stan Greenspan (Lake Ontario), Allan Kahan (Seaboard), Ed Margolis (Florida), Steve Neustein (Tri-State) and Gary Smith (KIO)
- Treasurer - Joel Shrater (Western)
- Secretary - Alan Budman (Mid Atlantic)
- Honorary President - Mike Mills (KIO)
In addition, incoming President Myles A. Simpson has selected four additional men to serve on the Executive Committee: Bill Becker (Seaboard), Dave Mandell (N New Jersey), Warren Sufrin (Tri-State), and Bruce Tomar (Mid Atlantic).
We wish all the nominees and appointees a hearty Mazel Tov, Yasher Koach for the work that got them to this point, and for the efforts on behalf of the FJMC they'll be making in the coming years!
A Wealth Management Conference will be offered...
the morning of Convention, Wednesday, July 24th, prior to the Convention activities beginning. The Conference fomat of panel presentations and multiple breakout sessions will have two tracts: a novice tract for those just beginning the process or retirement planning, with such subjects as preparign to operate independently; what to do with inheritance; Long Term Care insurance: assessing Financial professionals; Budgeting; Estate Planning; and Tax Planning, charitable donations and mission investing. An intermediate tract will be available for those who have dealt with many of the initial efforts, and will cover: budgeting for retirement and setting investment goals; advanced investment area to tempt you, including EFT's, MLP's, REIT's, Oil Well, Drips, and selling Call options; diversification options for lowered risk and greater rewards; Israeli bonds as a part of a smart portfolio; and what you can learn from Newsletters.
For further information, check the Wealth Management Seminar page at the Convention web site, which can be reached by clicking here.
Social Networking: FJMC has both a Facebook and Twitter presence (FJMC HQ, FJMC Convention 2013), and (@FJMC_HQ), so you can hear the latest news of the orgnization? Become a follower on each, and spread the news, telling your club's members to join in on the conversation.
The FJMC adopted a new tag line..... "Leadership, Innovation & Community" which in a short three-word expression, encapsulates what Men's Clubs and Brotherhoods bring to the Jewish Community. It strengthens LEADERSHIP - mentoring leaders at the club, region and international level. It does this through the development of INNOVATIVE programming and material for our clubs and the member families of the Conservative / Masorti movement world-wide. And it builds COMMUNITY which allows Jewish men to form meaningful long-lasting relationships based on camaraderie, common interests and core values. FJMC brings meaning to the lives of men, and through our programming, touches hundreds of thousands of people each year.
In the coming months, you'll be seeing the new tag line, and a new logo, used throughout the organization to create a unified identity.
Some call it creative, some may call it colorful, but whatever you want to call it, the FJMC’s Build-a-Pair program reached new heights in 2012, as 1220 youngsters assembled Build-a-Pair model tefillin, and learned about the mitzvah using FJMC Build-a-Pair Curriculum and kits. The Build-a-Pair concept, a FJMC Torch Award winning program, is a fun and educational program for 5th through 7th graders, and is an adjunct to the World Wide Wrap held on Super Sunday, February 5th. Students learn about Tefillin, construct ‘model’ Tefillin in which they place Hebrew script which they write, insert ‘straps’, and create ‘wRAP’ songs to sing during the World Wide Wrap.
And speaking about the World Wide Wrap, 194 clubs from around the world, including Australia, El Salvador, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Portugal, and Spain, (which is why it is called the WORLD WIDE WRAP), as well as throughout the United States and Canada, in Conservative / Masorti congregations, learned about and celebrated the mitzvah of tefillin. With the spreading of the Wrap to more and more countries, will the FJMC have to rename it once we have a colony on the moon?
The FJMC announced that a site had been selected for its 2013 Biennial Convention. It is to be held on July 24 through 28, 2013, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Boston North Shore, located in Danvers, Massachusetts. The hotel, which is undergoing a major renovation, opens in Spring, 2012, and is 20 miles north of Boston. Chaired by Vice President Ed Margolis and Mark Druy, the convention will focus on men's issues and Hearing Men's Voices.
Another FJMC initiative, this time the FJMC's Keruv initiative, was highlighted in a September 9th edition of the Jewish Daily Forward, in the article "Conservative Synagogues Crack Open Door to Intermarried Families." [See the August 18th entry below for the other FJMC initiative receiving press recognition.] In the article, it indicates that the Conservative Movement's policies had caused an exodus of intermarried couples from Conservative congregations to Reform ones. "Things did begin to change in Conservative synagogues in the early 2000s, when the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, under the leadership of Rabbi Charles Simon, initiated a campaign to integrate intermarried couples. Since then, an untold number of Conservative synagogues around the country have simultaneously hewn to and flouted the advice of the national Conservative leadership, adjusting membership norms in a way that nominally accommodates the intermarried." Read the entire article by clicking here.
Watch an important video of both the FJMC's Rabbi Charles Simon and Rabbi Kerry Olitzky, Executive Director of the Jewish Outreach Institute, as they discuss how best to deal with the reality of the issue of intermarriage.
The FJMC's Hador Habah initiative, to involve younger men in synagogue life, was recently highlighted in JWeekly.com, a publication of the San Franciso Jewish Bay area.
“We’re trying to make men realize the tremendous impact they have on their children,” says Rabbi Charles Simon, the executive director of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, who writes and speaks extensively on the importance of men volunteer taking charge of their personal lives.
Simon says his organization has been involved with men’s issues since 1999 but is now making a concerted push to attract younger men. At the group’s recent national convention in Costa Mesa, Calif., a curriculum to engage men at different ages was unveiled; it is to be piloted at several Conservative congregations next year.
Eighteen months ago, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs launched HaDor Habah, Hebrew for “the next generation,” a project that brings men younger than 45 to training seminars so they can learn how to lead men’s activities for their peers. Nearly 70 men attended the second annual seminar in January.
To read the entire article, click here.