Working as a team
The basic rules of working with other people include:
Communication enables a group to have knowledge and resources and function effectively as a unit. It is not unusual that the members of a union will be involved in different areas of specialization. It is for this reason that a forum where people can communicate and listen to each other’s ideas is essential.
Leadership The head of a team has many responsibilities
A team must have respect for one another’s feelings. Sensitivity, tact and diplomacy are words that should be remembered.
A team should be able to have fun together. It can be amazing how productive laughter can be. It improves motivation, morale and even communication.
When a bunch of individuals really starts to believe in something it can work productively as a group. To get from a bunch of individuals doing disparate things to a well-coordinated and efficient team, it is necessary to create a sense of shared purpose. Creating shared purpose means giving the activists in a Union an idea to believe in, a sense of why they are doing what they are doing, and why they are giving up their time to help others.
There are a number of different things that a Union can do to create a sense of shared purpose. In general, for activists to really have a sense of shared purpose, there needs to be one. This isn't something that you can lie about - either people really know why they are doing what they are doing or they don't. You can't pretend. Then, once there is some sort of shared purpose, it is necessary to talk ideologically, to inspire, and to dream. Sometimes this kind of talk scares people, and sometimes it annoys people, but if done right it allows activists to sense some deeper purpose to what they are doing, and to relate to their work and each other in some sort of a deeper way.
As a committee, learn about ideological things. Arrange for speakers to talk about the value of Jewish education, or Jewish identity, or whatever else your group is involved in. If committee members have a sense of ideological commitment to what you are doing together, then you will have a sense of shared purpose. Try sending out quotes, articles, and inspirational readings about the things that your organisation does.
Feedback on results
Everybody wants to feel that they are achieving something for all of their hard work. One of the most depressing things that happens to people involved in Jewish education is that they never get compliments or thanks. This is even worse for people working on a committee - even when somebody does say "thank you" or "well done" they are unlikely to say it to everybody. For this reason, and to ensure that people are committed to the aims of the organisation, be sure to pass around any favourable feedback. Tell people, send out emails - anything, just make sure that everybody hears the good stuff.