query: leaders to organizers

colist at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Tue Sep 23 21:27:26 CDT 2003

[ed:  Moshe offers some perspective.  Some thoughts from me 
below as well.]

From: Rabbi Moshe ben Asher & Magidah Khulda bat Sarah 
<kharakim at jps.net>

My sense is that the leaders-to-organizers question is muddied by 
our experience, on the one hand, of the need to maintain sharp 
distinctions and separations between them in most turf-based 
organizing; and, on the other hand, the integration of the two roles 
in labor, school-based, and other organizing arenas.  

It's interesting that so-called institutional (congregationally-driven) 
faith-based organizing has drawn into its professional staffing a 
significant number of "boundary crossers"--clergy who have traded 
service to congregations for serving communities from a 
congregational base. They have always been in a paid, 
professional role, but now they are exclusively dedicated to 
organizing in the same institution for which they were educated and 
trained, although typically NOT in the community of their origin or 
the one they served as professional clergy.


[ed:  as one of the group's sociologists, I notice a lot of models out 
there.  There are outside organizers, inside leader-organizers 
(probably the most famous of which was Cesar Chavez), leaders 
who become organizers, etc.).  It's clear that all of those models 
work at least some of the time.  My question is whether there are 
certain conditions under which different models work and don't 
work.  If we can figure that out, we will really be making some 
progress.  Any thoughts?]

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