Unlocking Community Conversation

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Unlocking Community ConversationCantors Assembly 2014

Connections that change our lives

The changing definition of community

The Power of Personal

Unlocking the community conversation

What well cover, and what youll know by the end of our time together2wdydwyd?*

*why do you do what you do?(Tweet your answer using #cantorsconvention)@askdebraShare the winding path that led them to their passion for their work.Turn to the person next to you and tell them what brought you to this place today. Why are you a cantor or chazzan/chazzanit?

3http://www.flickr.com/photos/40351092@N00/3844938856

The Science of Connecting

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/opinion/sunday/hello-stranger.html?KEY POINT: Its the connections between folks, even strangers, that improve our days and our lives.Our student Gillian M. Sandstrom asked people to keep a running tally of their social interactions.She had them carry clickers one red, one black in their pockets all day. They clicked the red one whenever they interacted with someone close to them (a strong tie) and the black one whenever they interacted with someone they didnt know so well (a weak tie). She found that introverts and extroverts alike felt happier on days when they had more social interactions. More surprisingly, interactions with weak ties correlated at least as highly with happiness as interactions with strong ties. Even the bit players in our lives may influence our well-being.

In a recent study, we recruited people on their way into a busy Starbucks with a $5 gift card. We asked some customers to have a genuine interaction with the cashier, smiling and having a brief conversation. Others were told to be as efficient as possible: Get in, get out, go on with the day. Those who lingered left Starbucks feeling more cheerful. Efficiency, it seems, is overrated.The behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder found that when one person took the initiative to speak to another in a waiting room, both people reported having a more positive experience.

5http://www.touchingstrangers.org/

Since 2007, Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs that involve approaching and asking complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. Working on the street with a large format eight-by-ten-inch view camera, Renaldi encounters the subjects for his photographs in towns and cities all over the United States. He pairs them up and invites them to pose together, intimately, in ways that people are usually taught to reserve for their close friends and loved ones. A few of Richard Renaldi's subjects were interviewed in this video and they even go so far as to say that, after posing with someone that they do not know, they feel that they care for that person, that it broke down barriers and that it was nice to feel comfort.

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Weve come to care about these HONY, even though they are strangers to us. We comment on them, and their stories are compelling because we want to know them: they are part of our community (geo NYC) and our community (virtually).7The Changing Definition of

CommunityKEY POINT: Changing conceit of the word community from a place you live on the ground, to a group of folks with shared interests, activities, values, etc. Traditionally, community was the place you lived. Geraldine Blake, chief executive of Community Links, defines her community as "a group of people that I share values, activities, hopes and dreams with". "They are traditionally defined as a place, but they can be a community of interest," she adds. An alternative meaning is of a collection of people with something in common. "People are networked into different groups," she says. "If you sit and map an individual and compare five or six individuals you would find that each one has lots of different connections. http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2013/may/03/community-spurs-fans8

*From Who Moved My Cheese? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3Fhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3FWho Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published on September 8, 1998Stop trying to find the old community. New community is not in a place, but in the connection.

9Its a PivotWell-placed time spent, not 24/6

Let go of controlbut still retain control

No one is a stranger, everyone is a potential community member

The technical piece is the easy partThe technical piece is easy: Remember creating websites by code? Now there is WYSIWYG -- Same thing!10Community = Connecting

Data: Power of Personal

What makes Temple Israel a kehila? (a community)

Community Is PersonalUnlocking the Conversation

diagram courtesy of Darim OnlineOrgStakeholdersKEY POINT: You are the convener of the conversation that creates community.A is the org goals. B is what the audience is interested in (or their goals, needs, etc.) What's in the middle is generally where THE conversation topic is going to be.

20Its Not Really What You Want to Talk About

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47390431@N08/5549926350/Its What They Want To Talk About

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32454422@N00/4074805374/how they want to connect with your organization22You have to commit to go through this process, and community is the result23You Do This Already

You are GREAT at this already! You are natural storytellings and interpreters. You share the best part of yourselves willingly, unselfishly, with your congregations. You ask questions, listen to boys and girls and they question and study for their bnei mitzvot, work with the men and women who want to share themselves and help them UNLOCK THEIR VOICES.24

Create the Opportunity

Cultivate a Community Space

Knowing the Conversation: Temple Emunah

diagram courtesy of Darim OnlineLiving Jewishly in Lexington, MAFinding a Jewish communityWhat is the intersection here?A is the org goals. B is what the audience is interested in (or their goals, needs, etc.) What's in the middle is generally where THE conversation topic is going to be.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64K-t_VXrAMeets missionFulfills what congregants want to talk aboutOffers opportunity to be heardIs valued Conversation Offline OnlineIts one way, its two-wayIts virtual and realYour online conversation supports the offline conversation, and vice-versawhwtic?*

*what happens when there is conversation?Report-backs35The Mussar Institutes Generosity Week

Generosity Week is an annual project of The Mussar Institute (TMI) intended to foster personal spiritual development through guided practice of generosity.The purpose of this group is to have a place where those who are really interested in trying Generosity Week are supported by others.37

Generosity Week is an annual project of The Mussar Institute (TMI) intended to foster personal spiritual development through guided practice of generosity.The purpose of this group is to have a place where those who are really interested in trying Generosity Week are supported by others.39What Does Your Community Want to Talk About?

Use #cantorsconventionhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/88133570@N00/2945003307Conversation in Chevruta: Turn to the person next to you, and tell him or her what makes your shul unique. Why do people join? Why do they stay? List at least two uniquenesses.What makes it a unique community? What is unique about the community?For example: Is it a Jewish oasis in the Christian South? Does it have ruach like no one else? Is it a place of cross-generational community? 40ReflectionsReligious life is inherently personal: How have we let it become broadcast?

Lets take back the personal elements of what makes a synagogue a kehila.

No one is a stranger, and strangers like connecting.

The definition of community has changed, and everyone wants one.

and a PrescriptionCommit to finding the conversationThink about what you want to learn from the congregation over the next two weeksTalk about this with staff and board leadershipSpread the work: Make it a community-wide endeavorHold a lunch and learn one Shabbatp.s. Dont be surprised if your social strategy begins to reveal itself!What Is The Potential?

What would happen if you could unlock the conversation? What would be some of the best outcomes?43THANK YOU!!Debra AskanaseDigital Engagement Strategist

http://communityorganizer20.comTwitter: @askdebraSlideshare: http://slideshare.net/debask(617) 682-2977debra@communityorganizer20.com