The Soul of an Organization

Introducing the FJMC Tagline

by Dr. Gary Smith and Art Spar

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Have you ever been in a situation where someone asks about the volunteer work that you do? “Tell me about the FJMC,” they might ask. This is not the time to pull out a drawer full of documents or flyers. Indeed, every organization should be able to define its mission and culture – what it is, why it is unique and who its audience is – succinctly in a few short sentences. One way is through what’s known as an “elevator speech,” what you can say in the time it takes an elevator to reach your floor. But the ultimate goal for an organization is a tagline that can encapsulate its soul in just a few words.

We were charged with forming a focus group to do just that for FJMC, the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. Considering the outstanding initiatives, programs and leadership that FJMC contributes to the Conservative/ Masorti movement, we felt that it was time for us to reach out to the rest of the movement and beyond.

FJMC realizes how critical the challenge is to meet the needs of changing times. Synagogues and regions are dealing with the reality of today’s economics and declining affiliation. Our communities are facing the challenges of identifying future leaders, particularly potential young leaders, and of the diminishing role of Jewish men in Jewish life, mirroring what is happening in the secular volunteer world. FJMC has spent the last 18 months redefining and branding itself so that we can meet the demands as a creative and innovative arm of the Conservative/Masorti movement.

A committee of nine very committed men researched and discussed the issues necessary to advance our objectives. A professional in international marketing led us through the process of identifying a tagline and elevator speech. These would allow us to share easily with any interested party the gist of who we are and what we do. The intent was to make FJMC a household name.

The committee had numerous discussions over the course of nine months. We initially identified key FJMC programs and events, which include Yom Hashoah Yellow Candles, Keruv, Hearing Men’s Voices, World Wide Wrap, Hador Habah (outreach to the next generation), Hebrew Literacy, leadership training, regional retreats, and so much more. We used these programs and initiatives to help us fine-tune our identity. We then discussed who we want our audience to be, and to whom we need to reach out to now and in the future.

After much discussion and vetting of the group’s opinions, we began to narrow our focus and came up with 20 different taglines! We returned to our discussion and sought to identify what makes FJMC unique. We then began listing words that defined us: values, leaders, innovative, creative, mentors, men, Conservative/ Masorti, spirituality, community.

Ultimately, the committee settled on a tagline which is, “FJMC: Leadership…Innovation… Community.”

We extended these thoughts into an elevator speech that fleshes out the message of our tagline.

“The FJMC’s mission is to involve Jewish men in Jewish life. We do this through:

  • Leadership: mentoring leaders at the club, regional, and international levels
  • Innovation: developing programming that connects people of all ages to the Jewish community
  • Community: forming meaningful long-lasting relationships based on camaraderie, common interests, and core values.

FJMC brings meaning to the lives of men and as a result of our programming touches hundreds of thousands of people each year.”

Gary Smith and Art Spar are members of the FJMC executive committee.