The GA is Over; Now What?

Photo by JFNA Marketing; screenshot from, captured Nov 15, 2015.
Dede Feinberg, outgoing Chair of JFNA Executive Committee; photo by JFNA Marketing; screenshot captured Nov 15, 2015.

By Stephen R. Silberfarb

The speeches are over. The workshops are done. New relationships created and old ones renewed. Farewell hugs in the lobby. The GA is over.

Now what?

Your folks came back energized. You came back energized. Now is the time to follow-up and follow through.

With the intensive efforts to recruit for the GA, it is easy to forget that the real opportunity of the GA is with what comes back to your community. After all, if all your community gets out of the GA is attending it, it’s easy to see why many would see the GA as one-and-done (if that). What’s the point of learning, getting inspired and meeting all of those interesting people if nothing is shared and nothing changes – nothing happens – back home?

Here are a few starter suggestions:

Gather your community’s delegates, and ask them the following:

  • What did you learn?
  • What did you learn that is applicable to your community?
  • What did you hear that should be shared with your board, community stakeholders, or community professionals?
  • What inspired you the most, and how will we use that to similarly inspire others?

Take the feedback, put the right people around the table and determine specific actions steps that put your community’s GA take-aways to good use.

I’m not suggesting this is rocket science. But I also know that sheer busyness pushes us from program to program, event to event, and thing to thing. If we’re not intentional about follow up and follow through, it won’t happen. And that has a cost in missed opportunities and frustrated delegates. More importantly, if the GA truly is important, what better way than to bring back actionable lessons and inspiration that make a demonstrable difference in your community? I can’t think of a better way to recruit next year’s GA delegation then by showing the impact of this year’s GA.

Stephen R. Silberfarb is an organizational consultant, Hudson certified leadership and human development coach, practicing attorney and entrepreneur. A former senior executive at several nonprofit organizations, including ceo of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rhode Island and the Minneapolis Jewish Federations, Steve is passionate about organizational change, strategic focus and alignment, and team building and leadership development as tools to build the Jewish future. He can be reached at