Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Community Weaver Role for Kehilliyot

This is a protocol for a Kehilliyot Community Weaver Role. It was created on 8-17-09by Naava Frank of Knowledge Communities and Elana Rivel of Jewish Outreach Partnership based on the "Greeter Program" created by Jewish Outreach Partnership. We welcome your experimenting with this role and sharing your feedback.

  1. Help strengthen the community
  2. Help individuals members get to know each other
  3. Help new or peripheral members connect with the community and its tools
  4. Help the community fine-tune its learning activities to meet the needs of members

Role: Two-Parts

Part I. 15-20 minute phone call

Talking points
  • What CoP work do you do?
  • Let me tell you what I do? A practice I am proud of, a challenge I am facing.
  • Share 2 or 3 ways I use Kehilliyot
  • How are you using Kehilliyot? Are you comfortable with the technology? Are learning activities working for you? Phone calls, Topics? Listserv?
  • Who else do you know or are you contact with from Kehilliyot?

Part II. 2-3 contact points over the next 2-3 months (over email or phone)

  • Connect over a resource shared (what did you think of the last email… I thought it might apply to your work)
  • Ask how is it going?
  • Send a resource you think might be of help
  • Summarize a call they missed
  • Share a problem or success of yours
  • Inquire/follow-up about a problem they shared in the first conversation
  • Respond to their posting
  • Introduce them to someone else
  • Ask to be introduced to someone else

Possible Hebrew terms for this role:
  • Kashran (connector)
  • Arev (a responsible community member – traditional Judaic texts)
  • Oreg (weaver – modern Hebrew translation of weaver)

Let us know if you try this and how it works.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Your First CoP Meeting of The Year

Many of you (like myself) are planning or have just completed the first meeting of the year for your CoP. It would be neat to pool our knowledge about good strategies for starting the year. Maybe some ideas for having 'fun' as well.

In one local CoP for educators, Reuven Kimelman is addressing the group on strategies for teaching the Rosh Hashanah Davening.

Other ideas:

· Have the group brainstorm topics for the year and prioritize them
· What did we like about our CoP last year and what do we want to do differently?
· What does quality look like in our field? members give examples
of quality they experienced in other arenas.
· What are the problems we want to address together?
· What do we want to contribute to the broader field this year?
· Do we want to do any joint projects? writing, blogging, a conference, a presentation?

What was your first CoP meeting like? How did it work?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advice on meeting reminders

It’s the beginning of the academic year, and Naava and I are busy finalizing our schedules for 2009-2010! As our calendars filled, we began to wonder about the most effective way to distribute meeting reminders to maximize awareness (and attendance). We don’t want to send only one announcement and expect meeting attendees to save it in the chaos of their email inbox, but we don’t want to send so many that it becomes annoying and they stop reading our communications altogether.

We came up with the following tentative schedule:

-- 1 month before: first communication, hold-the-date

-- 1 week before: reminder

-- 1 day before: another reminder

-- possibly one final reminder on the day of the event

Naava suggested we ask Kehilliyot members what they did when they were leading and organizing meetings, as well as what kind of communication worked best for them when they were the invitees. We received many helpful responses.

Naomi Sayegh of BJE writes, “I did some research on conference calling. It was suggested sending out reminders on all the times you noted. In addition, they suggested the day of the meeting—a half hour before the meeting.” She continued, however, “If the meetings are at the same time every month then there is no need for so many reminders. I appreciated the time when there was a reminder the day of a meeting.”

However, Rebecca Egolf pointed out a possible technological snag: “The problem with any reminders that are sent out the day of the meeting is that if you are getting messages from Google Groups in a digest then you don't receive it till the end of the day after it is too late. Day of messages would have to be sent directly by email and not in GG or many of us miss them.”

Thanks to everyone for the great advice!

The Broadest Playing Field Possible

The recenty eJewishPhilanthropy Journal Cites the following quote from Lynn Schusterman in The Jerusalem Post:

"In a world like ours that is diverse and diffuse, there is no way for us to know exactly where or what types of programs to invest in. It is becoming clear, however, that the days of investing in one singular institution are over and to be effective one must be everywhere and into everything. You need to be on the broadest playing field possible."

When individuals from dozens of organizations come together in a community of practice and speak about their successes and challenges a picture of the whole system emerges. Paying attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the system allows the community to address changes that can have an impact of dozens of institutions.

When dozens of communities of practice together in a meta-community of practice called Kehilliyot (sponsored by the Covenant Foundation) the possibilities for impact are profound.

The Kehilliyot community of practice recently tackled the topic of evaluation and accountability for improving the professional practice of our members so they become more efficient and effective in their work. And Kehilliyot continues to experiment with Web 2.0 tools to impact our constituents and help them impact their constituents. As each individual and each community works to improve their practice, the change has ripple effects that affect a few thousand Jewish professionals and many thousands of Jews.

To use Lynn Schusterman's language, a community of practice gives the community members, the community sponsor and the community facilitator insight and access to a very broad playing field. How can Kehilliyot and its constituent communities of practice partner with donors to achieve our shared vision for the future of a vibrant and engaged Jewish community.