Submission #348 by Temple Ramat Zion Men's Club - Northridge, CA (1020)

Submission information
Submitted by ismsolutions
Thu, 2013-05-02 03:40
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
Temple Ramat Zion Men's Club - Northridge, CA (1020)
Yom Hashoah Yellow Candle Program - Holocaust Remembrance Day
Club Representative
Person completing form
Club President at time of Convention
Club President Now
Yom HaShoah / Yellow Candle

Page 1

Temple Ramat Zion's Yom Hashoah program this year set a new standard in our community. We put together an interfaith program, recognizing those that were killed in the Shoah that were not Jewish as well. We had our local Minister and Priest at the program, who gave insight as to the effect the Shoah had on them as well. The theme of our program was "Remembering the Past, Securing the Future". The event attendance was more than 400 people.
The program consisted of our 40 member choir, a Reverand Steven Petty, a Father David Loftus, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Dana Erlich, Israeli consul for culture, media and public diplomacy in Los Angeles, TRZ's own Rabbi Sela and Cantor Friedman, our Congressman Brad Sherman, Councilmember Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Dennis Zine, and our Program Chairperson Jack Kosoy and Men's Club President Rick Mark.

An 18 person procession consisted of the above dignitaries and community members and clergy, as well as 2 Holocaust Survivors, the Executive Board of our USY Chapter, and the TRZ Mens' Club Executive Board and program committee. The USY'ers carried large signs showing well known pictures and names of concentration camps and the quantity of people killed at them. In between the signs, others carried large 3" wide and 12" tall Yellow Candles, all while the choir and a violinist performed Ani Ma'amin.

We have a large Holocaust Memorial in our Sanctuary on a large wall. We had a special shelf installed and the first 7 candles through the procession were put on the shelf next to the memorial. The signs were stood up on tables with the remainder of the candle lighting them up for all to see throughout the program.

The balance of the program consisted of alternating inspirational readings, choir performances, and our guest speakers comments, including our keynote by Rabbi Abraham Cooper.

Closing comments by our Men's Club President included information about the candles for all attendees. We provided 2 candles - 1 Yellow and 1 White. The Yellow for the Jews who who were killed and the White for the non-Jews who were killed; further enforcing the remembrance of all who died.

After the final Choir song, the guests simply emptied from the Sanctuary and were able to take both a White and Yellow candle on their way to their cars as they left. A letter and donation form was included with the candles.

We had a $10,000 budget for the program, including advertising, programs, signs, custom made candles in the color of yellow we wanted, custom glass holders for the procession and display, the shelf, refreshments and audio system upgrades to ensure that the quality of the audio for the program was the best it could possibly be for all who attended. We came in under budget at just below $9,000. We funded the program with donations from several committee members who were committed in their support from the first day of discussion. They have chosen to financially support the program indefinitely. Future programs are estimated to cost approximately $3,000 or less, as the audio system improvements will not be needed going forward.

We advertised within our Temple, the two Churches, and a city wide media release.

Page 2

Self Assessment
The impact of this year's program was phenomenal. The community leaders asked to be invited again next year as it was so very uplifting and something they had never experienced before. The community has never had such an event take place. We received 5X the typical candle donations from attendees than we have in the history of the program at TRZ. We had the Executive Board of our TRZ Men's Club participate as well as the rest of our club members, and have since expanded our club membership by more than 10 additional members from our congregation. We have 340 family unit members and before the event about 30 Men's Club members.
Our program this year activated new members to our Men's Club. Many that were not very active at all suddenly became very activated and took on tasks of great responsibility for this event. We have also converted many of these newcomers to join our Men's Club Board of Trustees, and several new V.P. Positions. New blood has definitely proven that we are expanding our Men's Jewish experience for our men with this level of programming.

Leadership: Our club now has new board members and younger membership beginning to get involved, helping to ensure our future legacy. It showed these members that you can become part of something great, and that there was a lot of support for the efforts, not to mention a great sense of brotherhood with fellow Jewish men.

Innovation: By getting custom made candles and holders, inviting 'outsiders' into our program, we have helped to preserve the memory and pass it on so it will never be forgotten. Expanding this program to our non-Jewish brothers was huge, and never done before. The Brotherhood at one of the Churches wants to get to know us better so that we can continue to educate and expand our community awareness and togetherness. This is truly innovative as we are now getring more of our Jewish men involved because they are more intrigued and interested in expanding with us.

Community: Involving our interfaith leaders and their congregations, our local government officials, and the community at large, we have spread the level of awareness and understanding by seeding the next generation with memories that will be shared. Our local government leaders have also graced our Club with proclamations and future suport for this this program, which has never been done unsolicited. We were covered by several local news agencies, the Jewish Journal included article, made a big impact. Friends from many Temples that I have seen since have let us know that they heard of our program and may want to get involved next year, so we are reaching beyond our own local community with our programming.
This program is still being talked about, we are still receiving checks for candles that were taken at the event. We gave out more than 450 candles that day, the largest distribution ever, and we have received many single donations at varying amounts to honor the program and its committee alone.

We are already planning for next year!
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