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...So What Do You Do?

You’re at a simcha. You strike up a conversation with someone. They ask you " what do you do?"

Your answer matters.

How can you best answer this question in a way that raises their interest level so you can engage them in your important mission?

Put yourself in the other person's shoes for a moment. How would you react to these two scenarios if you asked someone, “ what do you do?

In the first scenario they say,

I’m an accountant.

or the second scenario they respond,

I help Jewish leaders make considerable tax savings.

Which scenario wins your vote of confidence?

It's clear - one scenario shares an outcome you may care about and opens the door for your response. The other fails miserably!

So how do you as a Jewish leader answer the question “so what do you do?

There is one rule to use here - Tell the story of the problem that you work to solve.

Here are some examples to help you make your own compelling response.

Example 1

You’re asked,

“So what do you do?

You answer,

Here in Lakewood there are many good boys who are not cut out for full time learning. This means they decline in their Yiddishkeit either by being in a place that’s not right for them or by leaving learning completely.”


"I started the yeshiva in Lakewood that gives these young men a learning seder together with real career training.

Example 2

“So what do you do?”

“There are xx thousand children of Israeli parents in Miami who are sending their kids to public school. You can imagine what that means for their Jewish future.


“I head the school in Miami that takes these kids, who would otherwise go to public school and give them an engaging Jewish education.”

Example 3

“So what do you do?”

“Downtown Chicago has the largest growing population of unaffiliated Jewish young professionals. No Torah. No Shabbos. No mitzvos. All at high risk of intermarrying and being lost to the Jewish people.”


“I founded Project 613.”


“It’s the organization that connects these young professionals to meaningful Jewish experiences in Chicago. This means they’re more likely to marry Jewish and raise Jewish families.”

The next step, once you've given your response to the question, is to check your listener’s interest level.

Either they'll ask you a follow up question. Or follow up with a question to continue the conversation or make a call to action which will allow you to connect in the future.

And now it's your turn " what do you do?"

Have a great fundraising week.



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