The Role of Training
Suppose you were to come upon someone in the woods working feverishly to saw down a tree. "What are you doing?" you ask. "Can't you see?" comes the impatient reply. "I'm sawing down this tree." "You look exhausted!" you exclaim. "How long have you been at it?" "Over five hours," he returns, "and I'm beat! This is hard work." "Well why don't you take a break for a few minutes and sharpen that saw?" you enquire. "I'm sure it would go a lot faster." "I don't have time to sharpen the saw," the man says emphatically. "I'm too busy sawing!"
Many people in a student union/society need to be able to do certain things that help the Union / Society function. These things include arranging things, doing publicity and marketing, planning, working as part of a team, public speaking, running meetings, and many other things. Although it is fair to say that most people are capable of doing these things reasonably well, it is also true that very few people are naturally good at the things they need to do. In the world of business and management it is never assumed that people are able to do things such as those that Jewish student committees need to - yet all too often that is the decision that those running our Unions make.
Ultimately, training saves you time. The training that is needed by those running unions / Jewish societies isn't like that they are likely to have received elsewhere. Instead of a traditional youth movement leadership focus, Jewish Student Committees need training in what might be considered 'management'. As well as being a great opportunity to pick up skills that are vital in today's job market, members are able to accomplish their tasks far more effectively if they are trained in management.
Chairpersons/Presidents ought to take it upon themselves to work out what training people will need to achieve their jobs, and make sure that they receive this training. This will involve promoting a culture of training within the union, and leading by example by being trained.
Active members need to think about what training they need, and ensure that they receive it. Even where someone thinks that they know how to do something (for example, everybody can 'do' publicity) there is always a wealth of things to learn, and ways to improve.