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April 24, 2014 | 24th Nisan 5774

Recruitment Within the Congregation

Your recruitment target will depend on a number of factors, among them the size of your congregation and the goal of your lobby day. Members can also play a variety of roles in the lobby day, from educating fellow members to providing transportation to and from the state legislature on the day of to contributing funds to pay for activities and supplies to soliciting media coverage to actually attending visits and talking to your elected officials.

Before beginning recruitment for volunteers, make sure you know your goals and the approximate number of people you need so you can target your efforts appropriately. Always follow up with everyone who expresses interest in participating or volunteering, and don’t feel the need to stop your efforts once your recruitment goals are met – educating your community on your issue is an important part of your efforts. You can always continue your advocacy after your lobby day.

Here are a few ideas for recruiting participants from your congregation:

  • Use systems you already have in place or want to enact.
    • If appropriate in your synagogue, make a short announcement about universal health care and the advocacy day and pass around a sign-up sheet at Oneg Shabbat.
    • Pass around fliers and talk to parents while they are waiting for their children after religious school. Be sure to get the contact information of those who are interested.
    • If you have a message center at your synagogue, keep track of members who write letters and personally follow up with them about participating in the lobby day.
    • If the coordinator of the advocacy day is not a part of the Social Action Committee at your congregation, have him/her present to the committee and ask for their contribution and help. Ask each person to ask a friend to join the effort or, if feasible, to start a phone bank to call members about participation.
    • Contact members who have participated in social action projects with your congregation in the past.
    • Present to the Brotherhood and/or Sisterhood chapter at your congregation. Include information on issues that personally affect the members of the chapters and ask for the help in participation, recruitment, and education.
    • Attend one or more of the adult education classes and talk with them about universal health care and the lobby day.
  • Organize a teach-in on universal health care at your synagogue and invite surrounding congregations. Use the last part of the teach-in to talk about the importance of advocacy and what people can do to help. Follow up with those who attended the event.
  • Send out a mailing to members of the congregations and include an article and appropriate contact information in the temple bulletin.
  • Post information on your synagogue’s website.

If there are several congregations in your community or your state, you might want to recruit them to join in your efforts. Contact the chair of their Social Action Committee to arrange a time to meet.

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