Held in January 2009, this wine tasting came at the request of new members who wanted to get to know one another and see what opportunities there are for them to participate. In the past two years, over 100 families have joined our synagogue. This program was launched by the Membership Committee and every major committee in our synagogue participated by preparing a table and appetizers for the evening. The evening began with Havdalah. A new member, who is a wine wholesaler, brought wine and taught congregants about several selections he brought. A portion of the proceeds from all purchases came to our congregation as well. Over 100 new members came. Congregants, both new and “old” expressed that this was a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another. Many in attendance also signed up to participate in task forces or committees.
Work and planning for this event was done across committees rather than in silos. We have two physical sites now as we prepare to move and this program enabled everyone to commingle. The work was divided amongst every committee so over all each volunteer had a very manageable amount of work to do. No one felt overwhelmed. Beginning with Havdalah really set a nice tone for the evening.
RESOURCES: invite sent to new members; request and follow-up to committee chairs to participate; message to committee chairs; evite
For more great Membership programs, visit the URJ's Membership Program Bank.