LET’S SWING FOR THE FENCES
On Yom Kippur I delivered remarks using the baseball playoff system as a metaphor for the various stages of involvement in the life of our shul. I analogized attending High Holiday services with the first round, or as they call it in baseball, the “wild card” round, the point being that while it’s a good beginning, it is only the first step to the ultimate prize. There are more stages to go to get to the winner’s circle. I went on to equate getting more involved with our shul with advancing to later rounds of the playoffs, with active membership analogous to winning the World Series.
The entire purpose of my use of the baseball metaphor, aside from a desire to be somewhat entertaining, was to reinforce the notion to both members and guests alike there are various degrees of one’s involvement with MJC, and that all are OK. But there was much more to be gained by advancing to latter rounds of involvement as MJC was there for them to participate in and enjoy a host of programs and celebrations beyond the three days they were experiencing. My purpose was to reach out to those in attendance and to encourage them to not only become a member of our shul community and to take advantage of all it had to offer, but to also join us by playing an active role in making our shul work.
Simply put, my message of encouragement was: “Now that you’ve taken the first step by being here today, why not take the next steps to truly become an integral part of the MJC community? Why not go a little further by becoming part of a fraternity whose members are always there for each other? Why not help plan and run interesting, relevant and entertaining programs that are available to not only our members, but to the community at large as well? Why just settle for a snippet of what MJC has to offer rather than going all the way and swing for the fences of membership and involvement?”
Only time will judge the effectiveness of this message and whether it will manifest itself in more seats occupied at our services and events and increased and more active membership. We certainly had an audience to receive it. But to be truly effective, the message, or a similar one, has to be repeated more widely than at Yom Kippur services. It needs to be repeated beyond the confines of the Berger Room. And that is where our role as ambassadors for the Malverne Jewish Center comes in.
Yes, if our shul is to grow, it must not only come from the efforts of Rabbi Elkodsi and the few truly active members; it must come from all of us by spreading the good word about MJC and what it has to offer and to encourage people to find out for themselves by coming to take a look. We all have that responsibility to our shul and to each other, whether we attend services on a regular basis or are not as active in our shul as we’d like to be due to other demands of our time. Our shul will always be there for us. Let’s make certain we are there for our shul by doing what it takes to help it to grow. Let’s truly swing for the fences on behalf of the Malverne Jewish Center by being MVWP’s, or Most Valuable Word Passers.
Once again, my best wishes for a healthy, peaceful and joyous New Year and one filled with the many wonderful things that life has to offer. And if it’s not too late, let’s go Tribe (Cleveland, that is).
Dave Feldman, President