Parsha Shemot and Building a Team!

This weeks parsha Shemot, the children of Israel are growing in population so Pharoah enslaves them and demands that the hebrew midwives cast them in the Nile. Moses is born by Jochebad and Amram, placed into a basket and sent down the Nile. Pharoah’s daughter finds Moses and raises him. Moses sees an Egyptian beat a Jew, and also sees two Jews in a quarrel and stops them. Because they reveal what he has done the previous day of stopping the Egyptian fight he flees to the Midian where he marries Zipporah and becomes a shepherd. G-d appears to Moses as the Burning Bush near the bottom of Mount Sinai and tells him to go to Pharaoh to demand, “Let my People go, so they may serve me.” Moses appoints his brother Aaron to speak for him, as they assemble all the elders and ask again for freedom. Pharaoh says “No,” and Moses returns to G-d and is told that the redemption is near.

Moses is one of the most profound leaders and CEO’s of all time. Just like Gandhi he knew that a major shift had to happen. Moses had plenty of time to plan how he was going to return to Egypt to ask for the freedom of his brothers and sisters. Upon arrival Moses built a team. Just like any successful CEO he understood that for him to succeed he was committed to finding a group of other successful leaders to help him take “action,” on his vision. He empowered his brother Aaron, who was a powerful communicator to speak for himself because of his stutter. He spoke to elders, “the board,” and enrolled them in his vision so they could give support to Moses. Each elder was so clearly transformed by what Moses and Aaron were up to because they took a stand for their personal freedom even through death could have been a proper punishment.

The CEO of Craig N’ Co, Craig Taubman the creator of Friday Night Live, The Big Jewish Tent, Jewels of Elul and other creative jewish music and culture events always speaks about the the power of building a team. Craig spearheads over a handful of Jewish music events in Los Angeles bringing together all kinds of Jews and all faiths because he authentically saw a need by the Jewish community that wasn’t being filled. He proposed a high energy music Kabbalat Shabbat experience at the largest Conservative synagogue on the west coast. When he had this idea NO conservative shul was doing this yet, and now all over the country camps, and synagogues have adapted his model. Craig holds events at his house where he invites the community in to help brainstorm ideas for his up and coming festivals. This helps breed leaders for his events, because he knows that he can’t do this alone. Just like Moses, Craig empowers new community members (aka musicians, rabbis, cantors, educators, enthusiasts), to stand up and help him transform the community. If I have learned anything from Craig it has been to build your team and reach for the stars.

In 2013 I am transforming Jewish music with the release of my new record and Jewish Music Mentorship Merkava Mentors. I myself have been building a team and invite you to do the same for your endeavors. On this Shabbos may you be blessed with the ability to ask for help, build a team and reach for the stars. You can sure grab them and share the light.

Good Shabbos from Laguna Niguel, California
-Mikey Pauker