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Building a Successful Volunteer Culture

Finding Meaning in Service in the Jewish Community

Rabbi Charles Simon
Foreword by Shelley Lindauer
Preface by Dr. Ron Wolfson

6 x 9, 192 pp, Quality Paperback, 978-1-58023-408-5

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A step-by-step guide to cultivating volunteers who thrive within the Jewish community.

“We can never forget that volunteering is a two-way street. Volunteers must be motivated, but volunteer organizations also need to maximize volunteer satisfaction. Blaming one or the other for the failures prevalent today in the world of Jewish volunteering helps no one. The search is for a win-win strategy.”

—from the Introduction

Cultivating successful volunteers in the twenty-first century is increasingly more challenging. Budgets are tight, hands are few, and competition for a person’s discretionary time is severe. How do you develop and maintain the volunteers who are essential to the vitality of your organization and community? What can you do to avoid volunteer burnout?

Rabbi Charles Simon draws on over thirty years of professional experience to provide you with the resources you need to build and retain a thriving volunteer culture for your organization—regardless of size or complexity. In a straightforward, accessible style, Simon provides you with:

• Methods for analyzing your organization’s needs

• Innovative ways for creating an environment that strengthens volunteer involvement and satisfaction while increasing your organization’s effectiveness

• Plans for developing or modifying your leadership framework, positions and styles

• The groundwork for creating a language of inclusion that will motivate and inspire your volunteers

• Practical tips for establishing healthy, meaningful interpersonal relationships with and among your volunteers

“Warm and user-friendly … effectively shares insights into the many facets of what it takes to nurture and sustain a successful volunteer-professional culture where everyone feels they can make a difference.”

Doug Barden, executive director, Men of Reform Judaism (MRJ)

“Easily readable, entertaining.... Serves as a guide and template for leaders and volunteers alike. Strongly recommended for synagogue collections of any size, as well as other secular non-profits leaning more and more on volunteers.”

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of virtually every well-run Jewish organization. [This] book provides astute advice to professionals and laypeople who want to maximize this precious resource.”

Rabbi Ellen Flax, foundation and nonprofit consultant; project consultant, STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal)

“Must reading for every synagogue and organizational leader in the Jewish community.”

Jewish Media Review

“The book for which Jewish leadership has been waiting. Wise and practical, principled and realistic, deeply value driven and pragmatic ... should be required reading for all organizational leadership—professional and volunteer.... Important and highly useful.”

Rabbi Irwin Kula, president, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

“A rich, informative, and upbeat guide to unlocking the latent power of volunteers…. A must-read for anyone—inside or outside the Jewish community—who wants to empower, invigorate, and stimulate a rich volunteer culture.”

Dana Raucher, executive director, The Samuel Bronfman Foundation

“Makes it possible for us to re-invent our institutions to better meet the needs of today’s communities, and to elevate curious individuals into roles of real leadership and vision…. You and your community will both benefit from this wonderful book.”

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies; vice president, American Jewish University

Shelley Lindauer has been the executive director of Women of Reform Judaism since 2003. Her path to professional Jewish communal service began as a volunteer at Temple Sinai of Roslyn Heights, New York, where she eventually became executive vice president. Formerly, she was president of Media Alternatives Group, Inc., and Shelley Lindauer, CPA, PC.


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