Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Membership Mentoring

Our sages noted that no two people have the same voice, appearance, and views.  At AKSE I find myself generally critical, almost to the extent of the American politicians who seem almost programmed to oppose what is set before them by people of opposite views irrespective of its merits.  On the other hand they have enough cheerleaders but too few careful analysts.

The Rabbi and President decided that they needed a mentoring system for new members and went about recruiting veteran members to take newbies under their wing.  A list of new members, just shy of forty was sent out.  For all the effort of recruitment, there really weren't that many.  The majority were relatives of families signed themselves up as members.  One is 90 years old, another not that far her junior.  By my head count there were about three who were entering their prime with the talent and energy to allow the generational turnover to proceed in a way that improves upon the present.  To my assessment, that is not Membership Committee success but more accurately the illusion of success.

And they are attempting to socialize the folks to the AKSE way Federation style with a genuine Federation facilitator.  That process has led to the destruction of a generation of non-orthodox Jews.  Federation locally never got its young people of major talent to sign on and the Conservative movement similarly sacrificed its talent by setting a clear priority for loyalty over ability.  All appearances are welcome, but not all views.

I think it time to sit out a few weeks, perhaps the month of January, and decide whether $2000 could be better spent not only on my own Jewish advancement but on support of institutions that can distinguish between real success and its illusion.

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