Choose Your Own Learning

Possible topics for the Choose Your Own Learning sessions. These topics are subject to change and will be updated as necessary. Please discuss with your delegation which topics are most appropriate and useful for your JCC.

2013 Choose Your Own Schedule

Session 1 – Monday Morning (10:00 — 11:30AM)

Salon 3       Creating a Welcoming Environment

How does your JCC look to newcomers to Jewish life? Explore how to better welcome and serve the increasingly diverse population of Jews and Jewish families, with particular emphasis on intermarried families. Improve hospitality, websites, marketing, communication, programming, and collaboration, with an emphasis on providing quality customer service. Empower organizational players of all levels (from gatekeepers to program professionals to volunteers to executives) to sensitively serve newcomers.
Speaker: Eva Stern, Senior Director of Training, Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute

Salon 4       Engaging Donors: How to Tell Your Story Best

Everybody has a story to tell, and we relate best to other people through their stories. Storytelling is also very important for fundraising. You can create awareness and show impact through anecdotes that your donors will remember. At this session, you will learn to find and tell interesting and emotional stories that will engage donors with your JCC.
Speaker: Jean Baugh Kristle, President, The RESOURCE Tank

Salon 5       Managing Up; Managing Down

What exactly does it mean to manage up or down? One thing it does not mean: sucking up to the boss or expecting those you supervise to do the same. In this session, learn how to make yourself and those around you indispensible to your JCC.
Speaker: Deborah Grayson Riegel, Head Coach,

Salon 6       Latest Benchmarking Findings and Their Impact on Your JCC

Be among the first to learn about the 2012-13 JCC Excellence: Benchmarking results – what has changed, what have we learned, and what does it mean for your JCC?
Speaker: Andy Paller, Director of Benchmarking, JCC Association

Salon 7       Introduction to and Resource Sharing

Learn the basics of the JCC Movement’s newest resource and knowledge hub. In addition to covering logging in, searching and downloading, you’ll learn how to network and share ideas with your peers.
Speaker: Chris Strom, Director, New Media and Social Networking, JCC Association

Salon 9/10    Habit 3, Put First Things First, from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

This session will focus on Habit 3, Put First Things First®, of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You will learn how to use time-management skills to execute strategy, focus on important activities, apply planning and prioritization skills, balance key priorities, eliminate low priorities and time-wasters effectively.
Speaker: Haydn Shaw, Senior Consultant, Franklin Covey

Salon 11     Making Yourself Indispensable: Finding the Specific Edge

This session will focus on harnessing the power of being specific in creating a meaningful point of differentiation to grow membership, donors, program participation and your own career.
Speaker: Mike Wien, Founder and President, The Specific Edge Institute

Salon 12     Making Short-Term Programs Become a Long-Term Experience

Together we’ll explore how you can take a successful program that has a short duration and turn it into a long-lasting meaningful program.
Speakers: Dan Deutsch, Director of the JCC Maccabi Experience, JCC Association
Samantha Cohen, JCC Maccabi Experience Director, Merage JCC

Salon 13     Marketing for Non-Marketers

Marketing isn’t just a one-department job – everyone has a role to play. Learn how to direct your innate marketing prowess for the greater good of your JCC.
Speaker: Michael Rowland, Marketing Consultant, JCC Association

Salon 14     Branding 101… and Beyond

Branding… it’s more powerful than you can possibly imagine! But it only works if everyone’s on board. THRILL to the role of branding in not-for-profits! MARVEL at the Four Pillars of Strong Brands! TRANSFORM mere concepts into real-life practices that can work for you!
Speaker: Peter Shevenell, Creative Director, JCC Association

Salon 17     The Social and Emotional Underpinnings of Jewish Values: Creating a Climate of Character and Community

What does it take to put Jewish values into practice? We will explore the social and emotional competencies that are the building blocks of Jewish values, and what it takes to help those competencies thrive.
Speakers: Jeffrey Kress, Associate Professor and Academic Director of the Experiential Learning Initiative, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary
Mark S. Young, Program Coordinator of the Experiential Learning Initiative, William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary

Salon 18    Graduate Scholars Meet the Executives (by invitation)

What does it mean to be an executive director of a JCC? Do you really have to relocate to move up the ladder? What did you do to prepare yourself to be an executive director? What are your biggest challenges? You will have the opportunity to ask these questions and any others to a seasoned panel of execs – anything goes – and anything spoken about in Orlando, stays in Orlando.

Session 2 – Monday Morning (11:45AM — 1:00PM)

Salon 1       The Meaning of Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century

The matnas in Yerucham, Israel and the Michael-Ann Russell JCC have formed a long-term partnership that enriches both communities. Learn how this deep relationship embodies Jewish peoplehood.
Speakers: Mayor Michael Biton, Yerucham, Israel
Gary Bomzer, Executive Director, Michael-Ann Russell JCC
Sara Sless, Assistant Director, Israel Office / Director, Israel Seminars

Salon 3       Transforming One Contact into a Lifetime of Engagement

What do you do with newcomers once you’ve found them? Explore hands-on, take-home strategies to maximize the outreach potential and impact of the programs and services you already work so hard to create. Learn how to build personal relationships from your arts and educational events, book fairs, holiday programs, family events, and more.
Speaker: Eva Stern, Senior Director of Training, Big Tent Judaism/Jewish Outreach Institute

Salon 4       Recruit, Hire and Retain Superstar Staff

We will demonstrate how to effectively determine essential job skills for every job, identify successful candidates through behavior-based interviewing, and retain superstar staff.
Speaker: Jordan Shenker, Senior Vice-President for Community Services, JCC Association

Salon 5       Managing the Work of Volunteers; Moderating, Negotiating, Influencing

You’ve just been handed a group of volunteers by your executive who has told you to utilize them in your program or department. What do you do next? In this session, learn the skills that will help you not only manage the work of volunteers, but lead them as well – without sacrificing your agenda or insulting your professional dignity.
Speaker: Deborah Grayson Riegel, Head Coach,

Salon 6       The CFO Is Your Friend: What They Need & How They Can Help You

A panel of three CFOs from different size JCCs will help de-mystify the ways budgets and financial reporting can help strengthen your department, and respond to your questions in an open discussion around expectations and the added value each party can bring.
Speakers: Marsha Deslauriers, Chief Financial Officer/Human Resources, Oshman Family JCC; Roslyn Kaman, Chief Financial Officer, Miles Nadal JCC; John Keverkamp, Chief Financial Officer, Jerry Shaw JCC; Andy Paller, Director of Benchmarking, JCC Association

Salon 7       Getting the Most Out of

Got the basics for down? In this session we’ll cover using hashtags, sharing files, connecting with your peers and more.
Speaker: Jordan Zarin, Director of Special Projects, JCC Association

Salon 9/10    Habit 5, First Seek to Understand, then Be Understood

This session will focus on Habit 5, Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood®, of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You will learn to apply effective interpersonal communication, overcome communication pitfalls, reduce conflict, increase collaboration, apply good listening skills, understand others, and reach mutual understanding.
Speaker: Haydn Shaw, Senior Consultant, Franklin Covey

Salon 11     Work-Life Balance: Keeping the Flame Lit for Life

We will focus on how to go from ordinary to extraordinary by living life with purpose, using the Ironman World Championship as a metaphor. This is a great message to share with staff and members too.
Speaker: Mike Wien, Founder and President, The Specific Edge Institute

Salon 12     The REALLY? Factor

How can we find common ground when differences of thought and opinion exist? Believe it or not, one simple strategy has the answer: YES, REALLY!
Speaker: Randy Freedman, Executive Director, York JCC

Salon 13     Making the Best Use of Your Community Schlichim

Israeli schlichim come a long way to work at a JCC or camp and they bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and program ideas. Learn about ways you can “add a touch of Israel” to your programs by engaging your schlichim in the planning and implementation of programs at your JCC or camp.
Speaker: Osnat Zur, Central Shaliach, JCC Association

Salon 14     Creating Digital Narratives for Your Program

We compete in what many experts call the Conversation Economy. What are the stories that gain traction in today’s multi-channel digital arena? In this session, we’ll explore how to gear stories to the end goals of building brand awareness, generating media buzz, driving Website traffic and creating conversations.
Speaker: Ken DeGilio, Chief Storyteller, LaunchMob Media

Salon 18    JELI Fellows Meeting

Speaker: Allan Finkelstein, President and CEO, JCC Association

Session 3 – Tuesday Afternoon (1:45 — 3:30PM)

Salon 1       Introduction to and Resource Sharing

Learn the basics of the JCC Movement’s newest resource and knowledge hub. In addition to covering logging in, searching and downloading, you will learn to network and share ideas with your peers.
Speaker: Chris Strom, Director, New Media and Social Networking, JCC Association

Salon 3       Celebrating Shyness

Feeling your work at the JCC is impacted by your innate shyness? This session is for introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, or any type of verts. It’s about getting those in the workplace to appreciate and understand the value of introverts in the organization.
Speaker: Rachel Griffiths, Communication Director, Aquatic Safety Research Group, LLC; Tom Griffiths, President, Aquatic Safety Research Group, LLC

Salon 4       Top Ten Online Tactics: What Every Organization Should Be Doing to Build Loyalty Online

Loyal donors are critical to your fundraising success because loyal donors mean more funds raised. It is becoming progressively more competitive and increasingly more difficult to secure funding. So what can you do to build loyalty among your existing donors and prospects? In this session, you will learn 10 multi-channel tactics your JCC should be executing to enhance donor loyalty, increase retention, and ensure a competitive advantage.
Speaker: Bridget Brandt, Director of Marketing Sage North America

Salon 5       Making Jewish Values Accessible and Relevant

Explore social responsibility and “wellness” programming and resources to engage members of your JCC of all ages, including Discover: CATCH, JCC Grows, and more.
Speakers: Stephanie Davis-Dieringer, Health and Wellness Director, Jerry Shaw JCC, Akron, Ohio
Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Consultant, Social Responsibility/Discover @ the JCC, JCC Association

Salon 6       Early Childhood and Fitness Exceptional Practices: JCCs Putting Benchmarking Results into Action

The 2011-12 Benchmarking process was used to identify JCC exceptional practices that had demonstrated measurable success, and were intentional, well-executed and replicable. Come and explore the results. Staff from JCCs highlighted in case studies will help lead the discussion.
Speaker: Andy Paller, Director of Benchmarking, JCC Association; panel of JCC staff

Salon 7       Putting Yourself in the CEO’s Seat: A Talk Back with Allan Finkelstein

At the opening plenary you heard Allan articulate the JCC Movement’s vision, which is expressed in the new Vision and Statement of Principles for the 21st Century. Now imagine you sit as one of Allan’s trusted advisors, or even in his seat. What are your thoughts and ideas about what new initiatives JCC Association should consider undertaking? What are the directions you see as important and relevant for our movement. Come prepared with your ideas, and be ready to express them.
Speaker: Allan Finkelstein, President and CEO, JCC Association

Salon 9/10   Getting More Done

How can you get more done at work and still have a life? Learn how to delegate more effectively, coach others to take on more responsibility, work collaboratively to set meaningful standards around work outcomes, and change your relationship with procrastination. This is Deborah’s third non-Oy Vey strategy.
Speaker: Deborah Grayson Riegel, Head Coach,

Salon 11    Relationship Marketing

Learn from one of the nation’s leading CRM (customer relationship management) practitioners about strategies to identify prospects and take them on a journey from lead generation to deep engagement.
Speaker: Mike Church, Vice-President Interactive Ecosystems, Darden Restaurants

Salon 12   Playing with a Full Deck: Emotional Intelligence in the JCC

How do people handle emotions at work? Ignore them? Explore them? Express them? Emotions play a distinct role in working with others. Learn a provocative and practical perspective for the harnessing of emotions in interpersonal work situations and as a tool for leadership. Emotions can significantly improve the ability to communicate through the effective use of emotional intelligence.
Speaker: Noa Peri-Jensch, Founder and Principal, The Global Momentum

Salon 13    Coaching to Greatness

In this session, find out what it is you need to both be and do in order to supervise, coach and inspire your people to want to work harder and smarter, and set them on the road to achieving their own greatness.
Speaker: Jerry Wische, COO, JCC Association

Salon 14    Creating Your Own Day of Jewish Learning

What makes for a successful day of Jewish learning at JCCs? Learn how to design programs that will strengthen and inspire our communities.
Speaker: Karen Sponder, Project Director, Global Day of Learning

Salon 18    JELI Fellows Meeting

Speaker: Simon Klarfeld

Session 4 – Wednesday Morning (8:30 — 10AM)

Ballroom C   Social Media and Video Marketing 101

Social media and video are two of today’s most powerful marketing tools. Learn how marketing and program professionals alike can use today’s social media platforms to reach new customers and engage current ones. Video can tell the JCC’s story better than any other medium – when used correctly. Learn easy, tried and true methods to making high quality videos on a budget.
Speaker: Chris Strom, Director, New Media and Social Networking, JCC Association

Salon 1       JCC Thought Leaders (by invitation)

A session that includes selected JCC professionals in key areas of expertise to collaboratively tackle issues to maximize the impact of JCCs. This is an initiative that will combine our collective knowledge by sharing experiences, ideas, opportunities and challenges to lead the field into the future.
Speaker: Jordan Zarin, Director of Special Projects, JCC Association

Salon 2       Programming for the Special Needs Population

We believe that all individuals have the right to experience life to its fullest and to be treated with consideration, respect and full recognition of their individuality. Many of our programs at JCCs/camps are targeted only towards people with special needs and many of our programs are inclusive. Since you are already providing a wealth of outstanding programs, this session will give you an opportunity learn from your colleagues, talk about best practices, and share what you are doing. From there, we would like to ask you to be an “in house” think tank, to talk about what services JCC Association could be considering in order to be a resource to you, your JCC and/or camp in the area of special needs programming.
Speaker: Arnie Sohinki, Senior Vice-President, Program Services, JCC Association

Salon 3       Seven Pillars of Service

Enjoy a fun, interactive session to learn the difference between customer service and creating a great JCC Experience. Consistently deliver on the seven Pillars of Service and the J-Way to change the outcome when a member/participant is not satisfied.
Speakers: Amy Abernethy, Regional Manager Community Centers, Club One; Dan Burns, Director of Community and Medical Fitness Centers, Club One

Salon 4       Event Fundraising Best Practices

Events are a great way to raise funds, awareness, and community support. Unfortunately, many events fall flat, usually due to a lack of clear goals and preparation. Whether you are planning a simple event like a bake sale or a major event like a gala or walk-a-thon, the tips you learn during this session will help you make it wildly successful.
Speaker: Bridget Brandt, Director of Marketing, Sage

Salon 9       Mapping your Career Path: Three Narratives

What does it mean today to make a career within the JCC field? In this session, hear from three senior JCC managers about their own career paths, and what they have learned.
Speakers: Peter Blair, Associate Executive Director, Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC, Milwaukee, WI
Janet S. Elam, Vice-President for Community Consultation, JCC Association, New York, NY
Paige Silberfein, Associate Executive Director, Shimon & Sara Birnbaum JCC, Bridgewater, NJ
Moderated by: Jerry Wische, COO, JCC Association

Salon 10    Young Jewish Adults: Who Are They Anyway?

This workshop will first interactively map the current knowledge of JCC professionals, and then share what NEXT has learned through our on the ground work with young adults and engagement professionals. The focus will be on young adult context, mindset, best practices, and trends of engagement.
Speakers: Emily Comisar, Manager, National Projects, NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation
Yoni Sarason, Midwestern Regional Director, NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation

Salon 11   Dealing with Difficult People

In the customer service part of your work, are you spending 95 percent of your time managing five percent of your customers? And are you exhausted by it? Learn some tricks of the trade from a master – how to make No sound like Yes, how to offer concessions that don’t hurt, and how to walk away safely when everything else fails.
Speaker: Alan Goldberg, Vice-President, Professional Development, JCC Association

Salon 13   Doing Better Than That – Service Recovery

This session will empower you with real time and after the fact recovery tools for dealing with things gone wrong in interactions, processes, or services. It will enable you to leverage the area and strengthen further your relationships and systems.
Speaker: Denver Severt, Associate Professor of Service Management & Accounting, University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Salon 14   Recruiting through the First 90 Days

Learn how to make the most of your opportunity when it is time to hire by bringing in the right kind of person and getting them off to a strong start. Join us as we learn how SeaWorld hires and trains staff and learn how you can incorporate these tips at your JCC.
Speaker: Christine O’Neal, Vice-President, Human Resources, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Salon 17    Israel and JCCs: Tikkun Olam and Arts and Culture

In this session, we will speak to the impact Israel can have on a JCC’s program in arts and culture, and in repairing the world – community service, social action – or tikkun olam.
Speaker: Sara Sless, Assistant Director, Israel Office / Director, Israel Seminars

Salon 18   JELI Fellows Meeting

Speaker: Simon Klarfeld