Submission #380 by Olam Tikvah Men's Club - Fairfax, VA (1147)

Submission information
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified)
Sun, 2013-05-05 14:08
I have read the General Guidelines, "Nuts and Bolts" and Program Advanced Planning (Excel Spreadsheet) Documents
Club Name
Olam Tikvah Men's Club - Fairfax, VA (1147)
Being a Jewish Role Model
Club Representative
Person completing form
Club President at time of Convention
Club President Now
Hearing Mens Voices

Page 1

During 2012-2013 the Olam Tikvah Men’s Club launched an active, innovative HMV Program in two successful series - on men’s Jewish Journeys, and Being a Jewish Role Model - progressively deepening the engagement of members and delving into new, thought-provoking topics. Both series were led by club Co-President Eric Rothberg, with the centerpiece being the Ethical Speech session. Eric brought his experience in teaching on the subject in many forums to an in-depth discussion of the subject among club members of all ages, and laid the groundwork for a substantial HMV program.
As an Olam Tikvah Men’s Club Board Member and Social Action Chair, Eric Rothberg drew on his skills as a professional training facilitator to launch the Hearing Men’s Voices program at Olam Tikvah in early 2012. He continued his efforts after becoming Club Co-President in June 2012. Former Club President (and regional Mentschen leader) Bruce Gordon also helped Eric get started with the program and actively participated in the sessions.

The two series of discussions included the following topics:

I. HMV Program for February-March 2012: Our Jewish Journeys and Our Families
A. Session One: Our Jewish Journeys (Facilitator Guide and Participant Handout)
B. Session Two: Our Fathers Ourselves and Our Families’ Spiritual Journeys

II. HMV Program for December 2012-May 2013: Being a Jewish Male Role Model Series
A. Session One: Ethical Speech (Participant Handout; Speech guidance separate attachment)
B. Session Two: Juggling Family, Work, and Communal Responsibilities
C. Session Three: Ethics in the Workplace

These sessions were conducted in a traditional HMV format, either in meeting rooms or lounges at the synagogue, or in Eric’s home. Attendance ranged from 6 – 15 per session, with total participation of about 20 men, most of whom had not participated in HMV programs before.

The most significant of these sessions from the reaction of participants was the session on Ethical Speech, which focused on experiences dealing with gossip and negative speech, lessons learned from these experiences, and practical daily guidance that Judaism offers on how to use speech for constructive purposes. Publicity materials, as well as handout for this and all the other sessions, as well as facilitator materials are attached to this award submission. Simply put, this program can be replicated by any club following the basic rules of HMV sessions and using these materials either directly, or adapted to specific club circumstances or interests.

Page 2

Self Assessment
The implementation of the HMV program by the Olam Tikvah Men’s Club brought a new depth to club activity and “involving Jewish men in Jewish life,” well beyond barbecues and soccer games. About 20% of members participated in at least one of the sessions. Participation was strong among the club board as well as other members, helping bonding, and the program brought in new members, younger men, and men who had not been involved in club activities in the past. It was a huge success in giving younger guys something they could relate to as single men or as fathers. The rabbis loved it, thought it was innovative. Participants appreciated that the program shows how Judaism can have an impact on guys, and provides practical guidance from Judaism, getting principles on the table.

The groundwork laid for the future by establishing an HMV program raised the quality of the club’s work in general, and in specific in deepening the reflection of members and other participants on the role of the Jewish man. Given its success, we hope this is a program we can take national.
This program meets several of the criteria of excellence for HMV cited in the Torch Award documents. In terms of innovation, the topics of the second series, on Being a Jewish Role Model, were developed primarily at the club level by the club Co-President, based on his prior experience with the topic. As noted, the session engaged new members AND new leaders – at least two of the younger men involved in the February-March 2012 series went on that following June to take on club board and executive positions for the first time. As is apparent in the topics and handouts, the leader put great effort into building a substantial and thoughtful curriculum to deepen men’s discussion of the topics, especially with respect to Ethical Speech.
Original Program
Previous Submission