The Advantage of Job Descriptions
Job descriptions are designed to ensure that everybody involved in running a Jewish student organisation has a clear idea of what they are meant to do. Although job descriptions might seem a bit formal for some people's taste, and although they might be unnecessary for the smallest of Jewish student organisations, when a lot needs to be done it makes sense to work out who should do what. Imagine a Jewish organisation where everybody just does what they feel like - some really important things just won't be done. Or, imagine an organisation where one person has to tell everybody else what they need to do next, whenever anybody finishes a task. Job descriptions allow people to work hard on the right thing, uninterrupted.
Write job descriptions for the various jobs on your committee, and be amazed by the resulting improved performance.
For other jobs, there is often a greater flexibility, but the general look for a good job description remains the same.
The Buck Stops Somewhere
Every major activity needs to have ultimate authority rest with somebody. It is no use having four different people all responsible for the publicity for Friday night dinners. Nobody will benefit from this. Rest authority in one person, and make it clear that the other people involved need to help that person. So, in the above example, make it clear that the Friday Night Dinner Coordinator has ultimate responsibility for getting people to come to the dinners, but also include in the job descriptions of the Publicity Officer and Membership Officer that they have to help the Dinner Coordinator to get people to come. In this way, there is no doubt that the Dinner Coordinator is the person who has to make it happen, and there is no chance that everybody will assume somebody else will do it. The Dinner Coordinator will be able to instruct/ask the others to help.
Overlap But Not Duplication
Following on from the need for ultimate responsibility to stop somewhere, is the principle of overlap. It is impossible for members of a committee to work completely in isolation. Even a position such as Jewish Group Webmaster relies on others - for example the Publicity Officer, or the Newsletter Editor. Building a degree of overlap into jobs can be a good thing, meaning, encourage people to work with each other. Whenever two people need to work together on something though, remember that one of them should take ultimate responsibility.
Some positions within a Jewish student organisation should be designed to overlap with others. These are the jobs such as chairperson which are concerned with ensuring the well-functioning of a committee as a whole. Consider putting into a chairperson's job description entries such as 'provide support to the Treasurer to help them do their job effectively'. This overlap means that people will be supported and helped in what they do.
Giving people minimum expectations can concentrate their minds. If you instruct the Friday Night Dinner Coordinator to organise dinners, they might only do two all year, when you were expecting twenty. If you specify that they are expected to organise at least ten, you are less likely to be disappointed. If you are realistic in setting objectives, people can decide in advance if they think they have time to do a job.
People who have jobs in a Jewish student organisation also have a number of responsibilities towards the organisation as a whole. Include things such as 'attending the majority of events' or 'helping clear up on Friday nights' if these are amongst the things that are relevant for you.
To be or not to be - on the committee
If you have a committee, that meets every few weeks or such like, you need to decide who should sit on the committee. Not everybody with a job in your organisation needs to be a committee member. The committee ought to have the job of making major decisions on direction and what to do. If too many people are on the committee it might be too difficult to make any decisions and innovate, and the feeling of importance that committee members ought to get might disappear. If not enough people are on the committee there won't be enough people involved in running things, and so not a high enough feeling of involvement.
Consider putting all jobs on your committee, but only a few of these in your 'Cabinet' or 'Inner Committee' or something.