This is a brief update as of June 5, 2008 on Convention preparations. Several documents detailing work plans, programming, marketing and fundraising will be posted and available for viewing. A section called “critical docs” will be created for you to access these documents and you will be notified when that is completed.
Program: The basic schedule has been set for Convention. It includes an opening plenary, four forums and five workshop slots of 10 workshops each. In addition to that there are program Shabbat afternoon and Sunday morning. Featured speakers include Jonathan Sarna, Michael Strassfeld, Hayim Herring, Amy L. Sales, David Teutsch, Joy Levitt and Jonathan Woocher, among others. Please see the program document for more detailed information.
Registration and Website: We are ready to launch registration and the website. Look for them at the end of next week.
Fundraising: The fundraising plan includes sponsorships, ads and scholarship. Marla Friedenberg is spearheading this work. Information about sponsorship opportunities will be available for you in the “Critical Docs” area. You will be updated as sponsors sign-up. So far, the Western Region has committed to a $2,500 sponsorship and Marla is negotiating with a potential corporate sponsor.
We are pursuing ads for the program book through several avenues. One is the vendors who are participating in Convention. Another is through the Jewish Guide to Boston to find area vendors interested in serving the Jewish community. We are also compiling a directory of doctors and lawyers in the Boston area.
We are seeking donors for scholarship at a level of $2,500-$5,000 as well as individual donations of $54 or more from registrants.
Marketing: The marketing plan has several tiers:
• Invitation: This will be mailed next week (week of June 9). It includes registration, sponsorship information, featured speakers, hotel, location and general information about JRF. It will mailed to all attendees of JRF functions including 2006 Convention; workshops, Shabbatons and gatherings. It will also be mailed to Rabbis and Presidents of JRF congregations, RRA members, donors to JRF and Camp JRF; external affiliates; and Camp JRF families.
• Flyers (this is a list of the various flyers we are publishing)
o Local congregations (mailed in bulk for distribution at the congregations and sent electronically.)
o Camp family flyers: distributed to all campers on the last day and sent directly to parents with a letter from Rabbi Isaac at the end of each session. (working theme “Experience Shabbat like JRF campers!”
o All congregations: distributed electronically
o All congregations: flyers for distribution at “high holiday” tables
• Other marketing
o Ma Nishma every month
o Electronic marketing distributed to newsletter editors
Services: Rabbis have been engaged for services. Dorshei Tzedek will loan JRF a torah and torah readers are being solicited from local congregations. Services on Saturday will be open to the public, free of charge, children welcome.
Local Boston: We have two field trips scheduled:
• Mayyim Hayyim: A world renowned Mikvah for progressive Jews.
• Vilna Shul: the last remaining immigrant era synagogue in Boston.
• Cheryl Sacks, a local volunteer, is working on a generic guide to Boston activities.
• We are working on putting together a Tikkun-olam project in the Boston area for Convention participants.
Campus Program: We are working with Roni Handler, an RRC student and leader of the No’ar Hadash Israel Experience in 2007, to put together a Shabbat program for college students in the area.
Affinity Meeting: Affinity groups will be meeting on Sunday.
Entertainment: We will be showing the movie “Praying with Lior” on Saturday evening. Various entertainments (musical, etc.) are also being arranged.