More than forty lay leaders from sixteen communities across the US—from Oak Park, Michigan to Richmond, Virginia to Syracuse, New York—gathered at Congregation B’Nai Israel-Ohev Zedek in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this past May to attend the first- ever Jewish Communal Growth Leadership Retreat. The all-day intensive training retreat taught participants how to market their communities in preparation for the highly anticipated Sixth OU International Jewish Communities Home and Job Relocation Fair, to be held April 2017.
“Many communities are looking to grow and encourage families to join their community, and the community fair is only one component of that,” says Rabbi Judah Isaacs, OU Director of Community Engagement. “We initiated this retreat to help communities create a comprehensive strategy to attract new families during and beyond the fair.”
The retreat’s schedule featured a fantastic lineup of professionals in advertising and marketing. Arnold Gerson, OU Chief Institutional Advancement Officer, stressed the need for effective fundraising to foster significant community growth. Elie Rosenfeld, CEO of Joseph Jacobs Advertising, shared his expertise on planning successful marketing campaigns. And a panel discussion featuring representatives of two “success-story” communities—Monica Fischman of Southfield, Michigan and Ben Hoffler of Springfield, New Jersey—focused on ideas for achieving significant community growth; both of these communities experienced considerable growth following their participation in the 2015 community fair.
The OU International Jewish Communities Home and Job Relocation Fair highlights thriving communities across the US that have the amenities of Orthodox life at a lower cost than in the New York metro area.