“The most dangerous phrase in our language is, “we’ve always done it this way.” – Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
And to think that this quote came from a Rear Admiral and not a sisterhood member! Just goes to show all of us that we don’t just hear this phrase at our sisterhood and/or region meetings!
When I found this quote, I saved it for this week. You may ask “why”? It is quite simple….it is June! School is out, our sisterhoods are holding their culminating events, and then later in the month, we typically start planning for the Fall. We take out our calendars and start plugging in what we always do. It could be a paid up membership event, Women’s League Shabbat, etc….and then before we know it the calendar is full, with nothing new planned. When that conversation ensues, invariably someone says, but this what we always do! Right?
Our response should be….every year we should plan one new event. Not to add another event or program, but take one thing out or better yet, do one thing very differently. Many sisterhoods take a successful event and include it in their programming every other year to make room for some new ideas. I can hear some of you say, “we are fresh out of ideas” or “where can we find something new to do?” You know that WLCJ has the answer!
As you are sitting at your planning meetings, use our WLCJ App or the website (www.wlcj.org) and search programs….and this is what you might find….. The Jewels in the Crown booklet from our last convention which is the award winning programs from around North America, the Sisterhood Planner that has 129 pages of ideas, the Z’havah planner, also filled with ideas or post the question on this net or the PrezNet!
When I hear “we’ve always done it this way”…..my eyes just roll! What we need to hear is “let’s try something new”! Many times we hear that it is harder and harder to get volunteers to work on an event….we should listen to that message…if we cannot get our members to work and/or attend, it could mean that the program is tired, that we need something to energize everyone! Planning something new can be energizing for the volunteers and for those that attend. Yes, it can be scary since we are not sure how it will be received…but if we don’t try we will never know!
This is also the time of the year when we hold installations…we say “Todah Rabah” to those that have served us well this past year and we welcome new administrations to our sisterhoods. A plug for the PrezNet…..if you are an outgoing sisterhood president please let Karen Block know. If you are an ongoing president please let Karen know that too. If you are an incoming sisterhood president or if you don’t know what the PrezNet is….please send Karen an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that you can sign up for the PrezNet. Our PrezNet is out listserv just for our sisterhood presidents. It is a forum for them to share, network and find answers to their challenges. It is a valuable tool, that we hope every sisterhood president takes advantage of.
To those stepping down from a position, thank you so very much for your time, for your commitment to your members and to our international organization devoted to Conservative Jewish women.
Wishing each of you a sweet and meaningful Shabbat,