THE FJMC ADVANTAGE, A Resource for Club and Regional Leaders


Welcome to the "New and Improved" FJMC Advantage, an electronic newsletter for you, the presidents and leaders in our clubs and regions. This publication is designed to provide you with tools to help you grow your clubs and regions to reach their full potential.


Each edition will focus on:

  1. Upcoming FJMC events and programs and ways you can make them your own;
  2. Ideas for new activities;
  3. Information on FJMC resources; and
  4. Anything else we can think of to help you improve your club.


But this isn't a one-way conversation. We're also working on an online forum for you to share ideas with each other and I'll be introducing that in an upcoming issue. If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions on making this an even better resource for you, I would really like to hear them.   Send them to me at: [email protected].
Creighton J. Cohn
Editor, The FJMC Advantage


P.S. If you think this newsletter would be useful for anyone else in your Club or Region, such as your Executive Vice President or Activities Chair, just let me know and I'll make sure he gets on the list.


UPCOMING FJMC DATES TO REMEMBER                                                     

December 31, 2013 is the deadline for discounted purchasing Yom HaShoah Yellow Candles (Yom Hashoah is on April 14, 2014 -28 Nisan 5774).   You will save shipping costs if you order before the deadline.  

Yellow Candle
DID YOU KNOW? The FJMC has outstanding materials for putting together a Yellow Candle Program including a timeline, Torch Award Winning programs, and a Press Kit, among other things? All available at the FJMC Yellow Candles home page
DID YOU SEE?  Steve Neustein's excellent article in the October Hashofar about the Yellow Candle program? Check it out here.


February 2, 2014 is the 14th Annual World Wide Wrap when we teach thousands of people the mitzvah of wrapping tefillin.  Now is the time to get started now to make this the best one yet!

DID YOU KNOW?  Build-A-Pair is an outstanding father-

child program to get your members and their kids involved. Many clubs "pair" up with their religious/Sunday schools and teach the kids about the mitzvah of tefillin and build the mock tefillin with them. Kits are available from the FJMC here or email Brian Moidel, Build-A-Pair Chairman.



FJMC MEMBERSHIP INITIATIVE                                                                 

Did you know that the FJMC has a financial incentive to grow your club?  It's the FJMC Membership Initiative Program.  If you have a net increase of members in the next fiscal year, then in the following year your club's FJMC dues for those new members in the next fiscal year will be half price!  For details, look at the Membership Initiative Page on the website, or contact Bruce Tomar, Chairman of Club Services.

MEN'S CLUB SHABBAT                                                                                                          
Evan Rumack, the FJMC Men's Club Shabbat Chair, wants to help you and your club with your Men's Club Shabbat, a great opportunity to involve more men in your club and improve your ritual observance.  These are usually held in the Spring (typically, though not necessarily, on Shabbat HaHodesh) Men's Club Shabbat can provide an excellent opportunity to involve more members in your club and increase your ritual observance without requiring a ton of effort. Have you set a date for yours yet? If so, please send Evan an email at [email protected] with the date(s) of your Men's Club Shabbat and your chairman's name and contact information.


And don't forget to look for Evan's tips and ideas in an upcoming issue.  His first set of tips and ideas is available in this Letter to you.


ASK THE ADVANTAGE                                                                                  

For those new to the FJMC Advantage, 'Ask the Advantage' is a place you can ask for advice on an issue you or your club are facing, whether it be programmatic in nature, or club member interaction, transition related, or something as specific as dealing with a difficult member. During the recent convention, a new club president asked me the following question:


Dear Creighton. I've been trying for years to get the World Wide Wrap off the ground at my synagogue, but I'm not having much success.  I have been having a really hard time getting the word out and figuring what needs to be done and when.  Any suggestions?  Sincerely, Can't Wrap It Up.


Dear Can't Wrap It Up. The FJMC's World Wide Wrap web page has pretty much every-

thing you need to get your wrap going ( There is a tremendous Implementation Guide which includes suggested timelines as well as sample bulletin articles and even Bimah Announcements. The page also has outstanding professionally created artwork that you can make posters from or use for flyers. You can even buy tefillin right there! I would also suggest working with your religious school on a  Build-a-Pair program which will not only teach our youth about tefillin, but also bring their parents to the wrap, an excellent time to talk to the dads about getting involved in your club. In Brotherhood, Creighton


TORCH AWARD WINNER'S SPOTLIGHT - Tefillin Cheat Sheet                                         

Each month I'll spotlight a Torch Award Winning Program that you can adopt for your club.


If you were in Boston for the 2013 FJMC Convention, you received the "Tefillin Cheat Sheet", a 4x6 card on how to lay (wear) tefillin, in your "goody" bag.  The card includes complete step-by-step instructions and all of the prayers in Hebrew, English, and transliterated.  This won a Gold torch award for Congregation B'nai Amoona in St. Louis (in full disclosure that is my club and I created the card with Jay Englander).  Many clubs are adding their logos to these cards and providing them to the participants at their World Wide Wraps, making them available in their chapels, and using them to teach about tefillin.  If you would like a file that you can add your club or region's logo to, just send me an email.


LINK OF THE MONTH - Myle's Musings                                                       

Have you been wondering what our International President, Myles Simpson, is thinking on the issues Jewish men are facing? No need to wonder any more, you can find out here at his blog, Myles Musings. You can even respond to the issues he raises!  His most recent post, just a couple of days ago, is about the issue of intermarriage.  


...JUST ONE MORE THING                                                                            

A bit of humor you can use at your next Board Meeting, Presentation, or just to add some amusement to your day. Send me your submissions at [email protected], but please, keep them clean(ish). 


After this summer's FJMC convention in Boston, I spent a few days in New York. As I was riding the train from Grand Central to Westchester, there was a guy a few rows over speaking rather loudly into his cell phone, "Hi sweetheart it's Eric, I'm on the train - yes, I know it's the seven thirty and not the five thirty, but I had a long meeting - no, honey, not with that floozie from the accounting office, with the boss. No sweetheart, you're the only one in my life - yes, I'm sure, I promise - you're the only one for me. I love you..." Loudly, he went on and on for at least fifteen minutes, annoying all of us, until the young woman sitting right behind him yelled, "Eric, darling, turn that stupid phone off already and come back to bed!"  I think Eric learned his lesson.  

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