DuPage United Retreat
To learn more about organizing, Mimi Binette and the Brodie-Hall family attended the first hour of the retreat which was Community Organizing 101. Ben and Jacob Hall found the explanation of Peter Drucker’s concept of the three sectors in society- Public, Private and the Third sector, organizing - Government, the Market and Civil Society, interesting and wondered how to use this information. Our synagogue and DuPage United are part of the Civil Society. The Market gets its power from its organized money but for Civil Society, DuPage United, needs people to organize in order to bring about change. Three new congregations have joined DuPage United this year so we added to our ability to act.
Three members of the steering team, Merle Erlich, Harriet Rose and Mary Hason stayed on with the active leaders to review the year and look toward our ninth year. There was an internal and external analysis of where things stand politically and economically in our area. Also we discussed where we are as an organization and what it will take to reach our goals. Leaders reported on existing issues and new ones to explore: Government Reform and the DuPage Forest Preserve, Jobs and Job Training (in the research stage), ESL at College of DuPage, Youth Programs, Affordable Housing for Seniors, and Health Care. Fox River Valley leaders joined in the discussions and were encouraged to move from observers to actors as they build their membership. Mary Hason reported on the Job and Business Listening Sessions to be held at Etz Chaim on Sunday, January 29th and the work the CEC Core Team has done on this.
Leaders were challenged to continue to develop and do more relational work by having "One on Ones" to build a more relational institution. These are the building blocks of organizing. During lunch we all did a "One on One", a 30 minute conversation with another participant. Rather than give our biography, we discussed common concerns and identify values and issues. We then considered options for actions in next year’s calendar as we build toward our 10-year anniversary. It was a busy day with lots of learning and many challenges for the work ahead.