Monday, February 17, 2014

Man Seder Sweeping the Nation Even More Than I Thought!

Last week, I shared this post about the Man's Seder, a mock seder for men geared towards helping men lead a better and more meaningful Seder. Last night, I got this email from a member of Congregation Beth Shalom of Potomac, Maryland:
Hi Rabbi Spolter.
I read with interest the listing of shule's that have created a "Mens Seder Night". I am proud to tell you that this will be the 4th year that Beth Sholom (Potomac, Maryland) has conducted our "Guys Night Out and Seder Summit". I have attached our flyer and recently created Press Release, announcing this year's event.
Our event is truly a community event as last year we attracted over 320 guys and are expecting 400 this year. We are especially proud of our community leadership that has already signed up including the CEO of our Federation, CEO of our JCC, Headmaster of our Day school (over 1500 kids) and Israeli Embassy officials. Last year we also welcomed 6 Rabbis.  
Please keep Beth Sholom, Potomac Maryland in mind, as you continue to publicize this great event, taking place all over the country.
Thank you.
He also sent me this flyer:
 ...as well as the following press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Rachel Winer
PR Consultant
winerrac@gmail.com
248-320-6632

Guys Night Out & Seder Summit: Ribs, Scotch, Learning and More!
Hosted by Beth Sholom Congregation in the Washington D.C. area

Potomac, Maryland: In the spirit of the NCAA Men’s Final Four and MLB Opening Day, Beth Sholom Congregation, the largest Modern Orthodox Synagogue in the Washington, D.C. area, proudly announces its fourth annual BBQ, Scotch and Seder Summit. The event will take place on Sunday evening, April 6th, from 6:00-9:30 PM. Over 400 attendees are expected from near and far, as this is the largest event known of its kind to get “the guys” ready for seder leading.

Who are some of the guys you may see at our event? The CEO of the JCC of Greater Washington, the President of the JCC of Greater Washington, the CEO of the local Jewish Federation, Head of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, leaders from the Israeli Embassy, AIPAC, the World Bank, Rabbis from other local synagogues, community members, friends, fathers, sons and grandsons coming to town from all over the east coast.

This unique "men’s outreach event" reaches across all spectrums of Judaism attracting orthodox, conservative, reform, and unaffiliated Jews. Attendees will also have the opportunity to enjoy Passover insights from Beth Sholom’s recently installed Senior Rabbi, Nissan Antine. Rabbi expresses as he looks forward to leading this event each year, “This is a great event and can surely be re-created in other local Jewish communities across this country.”

The evening features a man’s perfect menu: Kosher BBQ ribs, fries, oven baked “fried” chicken, scotch and Passover wine. The program will incorporate "speed learning," with a focus on sharing ancient traditions to help make one's Seder more meaningful for all participants. Men will take home pocket-sized materials with key lessons for them to incorporate into their own Seders. There will also be a chance to win raffle prizes, think whiskies and sports memorabilia!

The goal for this event is to raise funds to support Beth Sholom, community initiatives, all while providing a great venue for a great Jewish experience. Last year, the Washington Jewish Week stated, "I've been covering Jewish events for well over 30 years, and this was one of the most important, meaningful events I've ever experienced…this was one of the few places I had been where Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, unaffiliated, ...every type of Jew felt comfortable." 

Beth Sholom is one of the most active shuls providing financial support to families in need, during Passover. To find out more information about Beth Sholom, or to register for the event, go to: www.bethsholom.org or call 301-279-7010.

First of all, I love the name: "Seder Summit". Secondly, the shul is really utilizing the program in an exciting way - combining the power of an educational event, a fundraiser, and a force for unity in the community. You can even register and pay for the program online. Sounds incredible!

Rabbi Elazar Muskin
So, what about your shul? I never believed that I had to reinvent the wheel when it came to good shul programming. I was quite happy to "borrow" programs from colleages that I felt would benefit my community. Just recently, I proudly told Rabbi Elazar Muskin from the Young Israel of Century City that my Pre-Rosh Hashanah speaker series was completely and totally ripped off from him (which is fine, because he shared it with a large group of rabbis at a Young Israel conference).
So - rabbis, shul board members, lay-people: Here you go! You've got a great program idea (and even a press release) ready to go. Your members will be excited, your shul will make money, and their Seder night will be enriched.
The only question is, is the Man's Seder (or "Four Cups" or "Seder Summit") that will happen in your city going to be at your shul, or at the shul down the street?