The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Jewish Observer

New Year, New Calendar

Hello, Jewish Nashville!  I’m just finishing up my second month at Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville (JFed Nashville), and I wanted to report in on some of what I have been doing in that time, and my strategy on where I am going to be taking my part of the organization. 

I’ve spent several weeks now meeting with former team members of the Federation and asking a lot of questions. And a few things have struck me in that time. One, is that we are truly blessed to have so many amazing, passionate, talented people that have been affiliated with this organization over the years. The second, is that all of them, to a person, haven’t hesitated to make the time to meet with me and share their stories and knowledge. I have to say, I’m very grateful and it is truly humbling.   
Another great resource I’ve been accessing is the network of peers throughout Jewish Federation North America (JFNA). Turns out, there’s a lot of helpful folks around the country who are all too happy to share best practices and are really invested in seeing Nashville succeed as they have.  And, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel; most of the time I am discovering someone has already solved for my questions and are only too happy to share how they did it. 

I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time popping in all over the city to events and organizations that JFed Nashville supports – I’ve been trying to immerse myself in everything our organization touches to get a better feel for not only what it is we do, but also what the needs of the community are.  And I have been getting to better know my team in Financial Resource Development (FRD) and throughout JFed Nashville. And again, I am honored daily to work with an amazing team of professionals who are so committed to this community. 
I have a bit of a different philosophy regarding fundraising and where I want to take our Annual Campaign. Our Annual Campaign is the main source that funds our efforts throughout Nashville, Israel, and around the world. In previous years, it ran around 18 months, and our fiscal year ran from July until June. As an organization, we made the move to shift our fiscal year to January to December. And that is how we have shifted our annual campaign to match the calendar year. 
And, eventually, I am going to shift our campaign from 12-18 months to a 6-9 month campaign.  We should be making our asks strategically, not constantly.  We will be spending our time engaging the community, listening to needs, and building a plan for the next year, not sending out pledge cards non-stop. So, if you haven’t heard from us yet this year, it isn’t an accident – it is by design.   
But there’s a lot more work to be done before we get there.  As I mentioned, a large part of the work we are doing is connecting with the community, re-introducing ourselves, and working hard to not just “hear” our community, but to actually “listen.”   
And, our lines are always open, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out – feedback is a gift and when we receive it, we get the opportunity to become better at serving the needs of our vibrant community. 


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