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Life After JUF

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05/09/2013

Life After JUF photo

It’s very weird sitting down to write this blog post for Oy!. For one thing, I’m not writing from my office, instead I’m at home sitting on my bed with my dog (who is barking) by my side and writing from my personal laptop. And for another, I’m not your managing blogger anymore. I’m experiencing some writers block, but I know I have to produce something because otherwise I’m one of my bloggers who I’ve spent the last five years yelling at (not really) for not turning their posts in on time!

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to write for Oy! post my career at JUF and Oy!Chicago.

Do I write about my new job?

It's good. I'm starting to feel settled in my new roles. And my lovely seatmates have figured out I talk a lot— mostly to myself— and they still seem to like me.

Or do I write about what it’s been like to return to the corporate world after spending the majority of my 20s at a non-profit?

It’s a change for sure— obviously. There is a big difference between working at a quickly growing company at the forefront of its industry and a century-old non-profit.

I could probably write a whole blog post about how my personal Jewish community has reacted to the news of my leaving JUF.

What I want to write about is how I’m making plans to stay involved in the Jewish community. But how am I? Well, I’m really still trying to figure that out.

One of the deals I made with myself— and my former co-workers— when I left was that I’d stay involved as a lay leader. I guess you could argue this blog post is a start at that, but so far I haven’t really given much thought (or action) to my ongoing involvement. I do want to sit on the other side of the fence and use my knowledge from my professional days to make a difference.

But how?

Do I join a JUF board or committee? YLD seemed like a natural fit, as does the newly formed Birthright Committee spearheaded by one of my favorite JUF people, Elizabeth "JUF" Wyner.

Or do I go back to my college roots (I majored in politics and history) and try and get involved in our wonderful Jewish Community Relations Council? Maybe do some Jewish advocacy work?

How about a JUF-supported agency? Jewish Child and Family Services or SHALVA both definitely interest me. That would be something relatively new, but also still within the fold.

Or do I do something really removed from the JUF world? And go volunteer for ADL? Or NECHAMA?    

So many options. So many opportunities. Where do I start?

Clearly I need to spend some more time adjusting to my new reality before I make any decisions. I still feel too much like a Jewish communal professional to really move on as a lay leader. But at least by publically stating my intent here, I’ve taken that first step.

And if anyone has any advice or suggestions, I’d gladly like to hear them.

I know this has been a post of many questions and not much else. But that’s where my brain is at right now. Hopefully, I’ll have more to say next month, but for now, I’m signing off, Oy!sters. 

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