Our tradition places emphasis of the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, which literally means the “bringing in of guests” and has also been translated as “welcoming the stranger.” This mitzvah exemplifies the saying “Kol Yisrael aravim zeh l’zeh – all of Israel is responsible for one another” (Shevuot 39a).

This section has a variety of resources to help you seek out and engage new members. It is up to all of us to insure that NFTY remains a k’hilah k’doshah - a holy community for all of our members.

Many of you have asked about our resources regarding open membership for youth in URJ Congregations. Here are two items which we hope will help:

Cover Letter: Open Youth Group Membership
Resolution: Propose Resolution on Open Youth Group Membership

Make an announcement, do a skit, sing a song at your religious school

Even if you think you are making too many announcements, you probably aren’t. There will always be someone who didn’t see hear the last one! People have to actually know an event is occurring for them to participate in it. A funny skit or cute song highlighting what happens at a NFTY event is an attention grabbing way to make people sign up!

Use social networking to publicize your event

Make a Facebook event with an attention grabbing title, find a cute picture for the event and invite everyone you know! Also, use your own personal Facebook, or your youth group’s Facebook page to make status updates about the event, or send out messages. Tweeting about the event as well will remind teens about the upcoming event and how fun it will be!

Make a phone tree, and call potential members

One on one contact allows potential members to ask questions and form a relationship with you. This will make them much more likely to attend. Also individual attention makes people feel like you truly care, which will also make them far more likely to come to events.

Utilize your Temple newsletter and website

Put announcements, advertisements or anything into your Temple newsletter and website. Some teens read the Temple newsletter, or look at the website, but even more parents do. Parents are usually the ones who pay for events, and tend to be extremely influential figures in their children’s lives. So make sure they know about youth group events, or even that the youth group exists!

At the beginning of the year send out a letter to parents, and include a calendar of all the events

This is another way to make sure teen’s parents know what is going on with youth group, and have a running calendar for the year.

Give a discount to everyone who brings a friend.

It’s easy; everyone who brings a friend gets $5 or so off an event! This gives an economic incentive for teens to bring a friend to an event

Make a colorful, fun flyer.

Use bright colors and colorful graphics to spice up your flyer! Also try to use as few words as possible to get the information out. No one likes to read long boring paragraphs!


  • The simpler you can keep the design and message of your flyer the better.
  • 3-second-test: in 3 seconds someone should be able to know the organization name, the key message, and the call to action.
  • White space is your friend.


Consult the document called ‘NFTY Branding 101: Where, When and How to Use NFTY’s Logo’.


  • The goal of the headline is to catch their attention - if the event name is long or needs explanation, consider a headline other than the event name.
  • The same logic that applies to email subject lines applies here.
  • You want the catchiest, eye-grabbiest words to draw them in.


Think about all the information someone would need if they were reading the flyer:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Price
  • Registration Deadlines (if applicable)

It sounds silly and obvious until it happens to you and your stuck with thousands of flyers that you can’t use. Remember the four W's:

Who, What, When and Where.


What would you want as a consumer? What would benefit you and how would you relate this information to a friend? Be straightforward.


Choose photos or images that fit the message.


What is the point of all this effort if people can’t read it? Choose a legible font and size, usually no smaller than 10-point size. Use no more than

two fonts to keep the flyer from getting too busy.


Use bullet points, text boxes and infographics to organize the information

into readable portions.


Stick with one exclamation point.


Recruitment materials should be oriented to those who are not already planning to attend your event or support your cause. Stay away from acronyms and slang that only those who are already involved will understand. For example, it would mean referring to the region as the NFTY New York Area Region, not NFTY-NAR.


If you have any specials or offers, make that prominent. It’s an added

incentive for people to get in touch sooner rather than later.


Save the most prominent spot for the headline. The last thing the reader sees, your contact info (including website and phone number), will be the thing to stay in their mind.


Proofread your flyer - and have other people proofread it, too. A

misspelled word or wrong phone number could make your flyer worthless.


The reader should have next steps after reading the flyer. This includes how/where do they register/get involved, or learn more.

In an age of electronic media, where words are simply made up of dots on a screen, we have lost any human inference in the words we type. Because there is no implied tone in e-mail, it is our obligation to set the tone of a conversation, so that our words are not misconstrued.

Setting a positive tone in e-mail begins, well, at the beginning. By writing an actual greeting, and using someone’s name, or group title, you start by setting a friendly tone for the e-mail.

For Example: Hey Jake, Hi friends, Shalom SAVPs,

Your body should be concise and can certainly start with a friendly formality. Most people don’t have the attention span to read paragraphs of information in an e-mail. Instead, consider putting a list of highlights towards the opening of your e-mail, so readers know what to expect.

For Example: I hope this finds you enjoying school. It was so nice to receive your e-mail, and I have been looking forward to responding to it…..

I’m excited that there are so many projects to share with you. Just to highlight the information included, read on to find out more about: The No-Fly Zone in Darfur Strongly Encouraged v. Required The Role of Social Programming in NFTY Events

A signature file can provide useful information such as a mailing and email address, phone/fax number, web site address, a text quote or other contact information. Four or five lines are about the maximum. The signature file usually automatically appears at the end of your email message. Think of the signature file as your electronic business card.

This should not be confused with your personal signature, which is followed by a closing to your e-mail. In the same way you would never have a formal exchange with a person, hand them a business card and just turn around and walk away without a handshake, closing an e-mail with a signature file, but no actual closing and signing of your name, leaves the reader with a sense of formality, distance, and lack of connection to you and your words. You are not executives writing memos to your staff, you are human beings working hard to communicate authentically via a fairly sterile mode of communication. Please don’t underestimate the value of signing your name on an e-mail.

For Example: Take care, Shalom, Shana tova, Keep it real, Paul George John Ringo

From: Delilah Rosenbaum To: Jacob Bugleman Subject: Choveret, Round 2

Send me the file.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - Delilah Rosenbaum President, CRAFTY 847.555.8525 Delilah.m.rosenbaum@gmail.com

“And God said, bless the small children. And it was good.”

Save the Date! CRAFTY Dance Highland Park, IL February 9, 2008

From: Delilah Rosenbaum To: Jacob Bugleman Subject: Choveret, Round 2

Hey Jake,

I hope all is well with you. When you get a chance, can you please send me the second version of the Choveret? I need it for a program I am coordinating with my network in NFTY CAR. I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

You rock, Delilah

- - - - - - - - - - - - - Delilah Rosenbaum President, CRAFTY 847.555.8525 Delilah.m.rosenbaum@gmail.com

“And God said, bless the small children. And it was good.”

Save the Date! CRAFTY Dance Highland Park, IL February 9, 2008

The above rules apply for any and all business communication you have on online forums –just because the method of communication is more informal, it doesn’t mean you should get sloppy.

  • Keep a list of whom you are supposed to call, with room next to each name for comments.
  • Keep a list of who is related to who –if you call a house looking for Sara, make sure you don’t call again looking for her brother Zach (it looks unprofessional)
  • Make a list of what information you need to get across during the phone call.
  • Save your notes from the phone calls for your records. That way you can make sure you’re calling everyone you need to.
  • Ask if the NFTYite received the flier (via mail or email) to be sure that the contact information you have is correct.
  • Reiterate all of the information that was on the flier even if the NFTYite received the flier. Make the phone call as if they NFTYite never received the flier.
  • Identify yourself at the very beginning of the conversation and state that you are from the Temple Youth Group.
  • Make some small talk, but be sure to cut to the point quickly.
  • Make notations on your list specifying whether you talk to the NFTYite, leave a message, or whether you talk to someone else in the house .
  • Make notations on your list specifying whether the NFTYite will come, will not come, or is undecided.
  • Sound enthusiastic!
  • Encourage NFTYites to bring a friend. It’s a good way for you to draw in new members, and NFTYites may feel more comfortable coming to events with someone they know.
  • Be persistent! If the NFTYite says that he/she is not interested in the event that you are calling about, be sure to mention another upcoming event that might interest them, or ask what type of event they would come to.
  • Take an interest in the NFTYite so that they will take an interest in your TYG and NFTY. For example, if the NFTYite says that he/she can’t come to an event because he/she is going skiing for the weekend, wish him/her a good time. Ask which resort he/she is planning to go skiing at, etc.

  • Just scribble notes on a piece of scratch paper.
  • Make the phone call sound too stiff and businesslike. Yes, the phone call has a business purpose, but doesn’t have to be too formal.
  • Be too informal. If you sound too casual they might not take you seriously.
  • Call the NFTYite too frequently.
  • Sound desperate. If a participant just doesn’t feel any connection to your synagogue or the youth group, don’t go on a personal crusade to convert them.
  • Call NFTYites past 10 PM. Though the NFTYite may still be awake, parents or siblings may not.
  • Call on Shabbat. Some NFTYites will resent a call from a Jewish organization on Shabbat.
  • Be rude under ANY circumstances, even if the NFTYite is rude to you. Remember that you represent your TYG and NFTY.

  • Leave a message including all of the information you would have given the NFTYite had you spoken in person.
  • Leave your name and phone number after the beep and mention that you are calling in connection with the Temple Youth Group.
  • Ask the NFTYite to call you to confirm that he/she has received the message and to let you know whether or not he/she will be attending the event.
  • Call the NFTYite back if you left a message and 24 hours has passed without the NFTYite having returned your phone call.

  • Leave a message the second time you call the NFTYite, should you happen to get the voicemail again.  This ties back to “don’t sound desperate.”