Submission #362 by B'nai Amoona Men's Club - St. Louis, MO (631)

Submission information
Submitted by cohncj
Thu, 2013-05-02 18:10
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
B'nai Amoona Men's Club - St. Louis, MO (631)
Tefillin Cheat Sheet
Club Representative
Person completing form
Club President at time of Convention
Club President Now
World Wide Wrap

Page 1

We prepared a "Cheat Sheet" detailing exactly how to lay tefillin for our World Wide Wrap as well as for use during the rest of the year. Out goal was to make laying tefillin accessible to everyone. The sheet included illustrations, mechanical instructions on what to do, and all prayers in Hebrew, English and transliterated and was sized to fit in most tefillin bags.
Since many of our congregants do not lay tefillin every day, they often struggle with remembering how to do it properly when they do lay tefillin. This is perhaps most obvious at the World Wide Wrap when many of us help to teach/remind others how to do so. The problem is, when we are at a minyan at others times of the year when all of the helpers aren't present, perhaps for a yahrzeit, we may not remember the proper way to lay tefillin and/or might be too embarrassed to ask for help.

Therefore, several years ago, I looked everywhere for a small primer on laying tefillin that contained simple, yet detailed, instructions on how to do so that I could keep in my tefillin bag. The FJMC's booklet, "First Thoughts: A Tefillin Spiritual Primer" helped, but lacked step by step instructions. Therefore, together with one of my other club officers, we made our own small card with step-by-step instructions on how to lay tefillin, including all of the prayers in English, Hebrew, and transliterations as well as illustrations. We also made it small enough to fit in a typical tefillin bag though big enough to read it easily, and included a place for name, email, and phone number in case the bag got lost or misplaced. We had it printed on heavy card stock and it is easily laminated. Of course, we also had our Rabbi look it over to make sure it was correct in all aspects.

We used these for our World Wide Wrap where they were a big hit and it is great to see people in daily minyan using them as well. When someone seems to be struggling with tefilin, these are readily available in our chapel and many have been given out through the year.

We have had to do additional printings and the Sunday School also requested them so they could be given to the B'nai Mitavah kids as part of their education on tefillin.

As a result of the World Wide Wrap and these cards, the Men's Club has become something of the go-to group on tefillin within the synagogue. Several of the Club officers were asked to work with the B'nai Mitzvah families and show them how to lay tefillin and we provided the cards to the parents as well at that time. This has led to more people attending our World Wide Wrap and more people getting interested and joining our Men's Club.

I brought these to LDI this past January and they were very well received and got dubbed the "St. Louis Cards." Since then, I have freely shared these with other clubs, providing a digital version into which the clubs or regions logo can be inserted. They can be printed on card stock easily by most printers such as Kinko's/Fed Ex Office and are not expensive to print. Rabbi Simon requested that we supply these for all 2013 convention attendees which I plan to do.

These cards provide an excellent tool for Clubs and/or Regions as they establish a connection between laying tefillin and the FJMC, bringing the Men's Club to mind every time the card is used. Additionally, they provide those laying tefillin with instructions and make it much easier and less embarrassing for those that don't lay tefillin often to be able to do so on their own. The card is a great tool for the World Wide Wrap and is great to provide to all attendees then, as well as throughout the year at daily minyan.

Page 2

Self Assessment
This sheet, together with our popular World Wide Wrap has made our Club the go-to guys when it comes to tefillin use in our synagogue. It has provided additional prestige to our club and provided us with an opportunity to work with the B'nai Mitzvah and Sunday School families which have led to increased membership and more participation in events, such as the World Wide Wrap.
The "St. Louis Cards" directly support the World Wide Wrap and the use of Tefillin. It is easily adaptable to any synagogue and we have freely shared it with any club that wants it. It was certainly innovative in that it was not previously available. It demonstrated our club's leadership within our community, including increased religious observance. It will directly help Jewish men become more involved in Jewish life, particularly with the mitzvah of laying tefillin.
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