Pub Night – a great way to engage current and prospective Men’s Club members.
Is your Men’s Club looking to plan a simple event to bring together membership and engage prospective members? Organizing a Pub Night is a great event for any men’s club to accomplish just that, with little organizational effort. Simply, Pub Night is an event at a local watering hole held monthly September through June.
It runs best when one Men’s Club Board Member volunteers to chair the event. Firstly, the chair selects a date on a night most likely to get the largest turnout and that does not conflict with schedules of younger men and fathers (check preschool and religious school schedule), or other synagogue events or holidays. We typically scheduled dates when our city’s football/baseball/basketball games played. Next, the chair selects and contacts a local pubs/bar to check for availability and if possible, make reservations. Estimate the number of attendees and reserve some tables. For pubs that do not take reservations, make sure to get there early to hold down a few tables, or designate someone else to do so. A collection of high-tops around the bar encourages freer mingling, food-sharing and ordering of bee pitchers, etc. Sit-down style events can be fun as well, but we’ve found that most restaurants try to put large groups and long tables.
Ask one of your members or a clergy member to give a short presentation on this week’s Torah portion, Israel, or other items of Jewish interest.
While it is fun to select the most popular bars, it can also be successful when new or interesting establishments are selected. We’ve found that attendance drops if bars are too far from home, so keep this in mind. There should at least be enough room for 10-20 men.
Go ahead and talk to the manager of the establishment and ask if they can offer a discount for a group of a particular size. In the past, we’ve been successful in securing 10% discounts on all food and at other times, a free round of appetizers. Speaking of food, plan ahead to accommodate your club’s tolerance for kashrut. French fries or dairy-only (mozzarella sticks, pizza, etc) are good ways to respect a kosher style without actually being kosher.
Media announcements are the next order of business. A graphic / flyer needs to be made and circulated to all men’s club members, preschool and religious school parents, and should also be included in the synagogue’s weekly communication. A great way to encourage new members is to specifically state in the graphic that preschool / religious school fathers are welcome, and that “the first drink is on us.” The graphic should be sent out 3 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week, and the day before the event. At board meetings, Sunday religious school pickups, and any other times men gather at shul, board members should talk up the event. Board members should also personally invite preschool/religious school fathers to the event. It is important for one person to be assigned to be at the event first to lock in some tables. Another person should be assigned to gather everyone’s name, email and phone numbers so they can be contacted personally about future events. And lastly, one person should be assigned to ensure each attendee pays their share towards the bill. An officer of the men’s club should be equipped to pay for the first drinks and some appetizers.
Involving Jewish Men in Jewish Life