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Understanding the Jewish Community Center Marketplace: A Celebration of Volunteerism and the Voluntary Process

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Publication Date: June 1982

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): David Eskenazi

Topic: Business (Markets, marketing, and merchandising)
Social conditions (Volunteerism)

Keywords: Jewish Organizations; Professionalism; Jewish Outreach

Coverage: United States


This article calls for the updating of Jewish marketing practices. The author argues that the focus is usually on selling, rather than marketing. He states that the difference between marketing and selling is that selling focuses on the needs of the seller, while marketing focuses on the needs of the buyer; what is offered for sale is determined not by the seller, but by the buyer. The companies (agencies) with the "courage of their convictions" resolutely stuck to the corner store philosophy. They kept their pride but lost their shirts.

Editor's Memo: This article may have been written with tongue-in-cheek, as a deliberate attempt to shock or as a serious analysis. Whatever the intention of the article, it evokes strong responses. On its face, it turns upside down principles and values avowed by Jewish community organizations. Its focus on "selling" the JCC "product," to which end quality of service, targeting of need, responsibility for the social good, communal mission etc. are subordinate, is in the best tradition of the ratings game in the TV "marketplace," and marketing fast foods, etc. However, the editor and several reviewers of manuscripts also felt that Eskenazi was saying "out loud" what some segments of our fields(s) quietly believe, or, at least, in a not-so-novel gap between principle and practice, how they conduct themselves. So the editorial consensus was to give Eskenazi his say. The Journal will be happy to receive comment from readers. No holds barred.

In Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 58:4.


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