Tammuz 5778

Aiming Smart


Chodesh Tov!

Shalom, and Chodesh Tov from the relatively quiet month of Tammuz. This month we build on last month’s theme of mission and vision, by going one step further to discuss how our big mission and vision is translated into helpful aims and objectives. Whatever inspiring mission we are involved in, the critical phase is how it is realized in the daily work that we do and that requires us to think and plan carefully.

 We see this idea also in Jewish tradition, where the big Jewish mission and vision we have as a People is put into practice through specific activities – values, mitzvot, and laws, which are concerned with the smallest details of life. For example, there is a custom to put on the right shoe before the left as the right side represents mercy, the left side strict judgement. So the Jewish vision of mercy presiding over judgement can get played out, even if symbolically, by tying a shoelace.
Can you articulate how the mission of your organization is reflected in the goals you set for your programs and activities (and your team)?
Yesod spoke with Colin Bulka, Director of JDC Hungary, an experienced Jewish community professional and educator, who shares his experience and theories in this month’s podcast exploring the whys, whats and hows of setting aims and objectives. To listen to the recording see the link in our resources below. 


In the interview Colin highlights a key theory – that objectives needs to be SMART.

S – Specific                 Clearly state what you want to accomplish.

M – Measurable          How will you measure the extent to which the aim has been met?

A – Achievable           We all want to change the world, but is the goal realistic?

R – Relevant               Take a step back. Does this objective fits into your overall aims?

T – Time Bound         When will this objective be completed by?

✗   Not SMART objective: To get as many people as possible at our Chanukah event, and have fun!
✓  SMART objective: To attract 10% more people than last year, and get every attendee to do one Jewish themed activity.
Challenge yourself to come up with SMART objectives for your next event.
The Yesod team



Listen to Colin’s podcast together with your team and use our Sefaria source sheet to study Jewish texts about the importance of having shared aims.

A good overview of SMART goals can be found at MindTools.

The non-profit engagement website NPEngage has some ideas about the pluses and process of setting aims and objectives.
Next month we’ll continue this theme by exploring how to measure success for our events and projects. We look forward to seeing you then!

And…the 17th of Tammuz

This is one of our yearly minor fast days. Called shiva asar b’tammuz (the hebrew for 17th of Tammuz) it marks five tragic events in Jewish history; Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai; due to war the first Temple daily offerings stopped; the second Temple walls were breached; Roman general Apostomos burned a Torah scroll; and an idol was placed in the Temple. It is a ‘minor fast’ that goes from sunrise till nightfall and fall out on Sunday July 1st. MyJewishLearning has a good summary here, and explains how it begins a period known as ‘the three weeks’ here.


View Resource of the Month Archive for resources posted in previous months.