Who are you? Who is your community? And what do you need to be doing now?
These fundamental questions are key to making change in any community. Yet many leaders spend little time focusing on them, or identifying how to communicate them to their audiences. Last year, I helped organize a leadership training for lay leaders seeking to make environmental change in their Jewish communities. One of the focuses of the discussion was inviting people to state their purpose. I was surprised how many of these active Jewish environmental leaders could not clearly explain what they were trying to achieve!
Knowing and expressing your purpose is key to success in any endeavor, yet in the Jewish environmental movement, it’s a great challenge for leaders to do. Many lay leaders, for example, are trying to make a difference in communities with little or no leadership training. And because the environment is such a huge challenge, it can be hard to figure out what you’re actually trying to achieve. Your synagogue as a leader in a Jewish-environmental movement? A CSA in your community? Sustainability of resources for future generations?
To address this challenge, I set out to find a training methodology which could help leaders figure out how to identify who they are and what they are trying to do. With the support of the ROI Community and the technological resource of the Jewcology portal, we planned an in-person leadership training utilizing the Marshall Ganz “public narrative” training. This training is based on the famous Hillel dictum: