The Indiana chapter of JPRO Network, which serves as the career development organization for Jewish community professionals, is thrilled to welcome Rachel Waldorf as its new volunteer Chair! Rachel currently works as Associate Director at URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI).
What inspired you to become the volunteer JPRO Chair?
Professional development and networking are two things that I have always been passionate about. After attending my first JPRO event in Indianapolis, I realized that JPRO provides an incredible opportunity to learn new skills that are relevant to my field while also allowing me to meet other local Jewish professionals — truly merging two passions.
What have you personally gained from attending past JPRO programs?
I have gained new skills and a new cohort of Jewish professionals who have not only become colleagues but friends as well!
Why is professional development so important?
In our fast-paced society, things are constantly changing. Professional development gives us the skills to better adapt to these changes. In addition to that, no matter how much experience someone has, there is ALWAYS an opportunity to learn something new, share best practices, and further develop a skill.
What do you hope to accomplish as the new JPRO Chair?
I hope to create programming that is fun and relevant. We are so lucky to be working in a field that is diverse. I hope to bring local Jewish professionals together to learn, network, and share best practices.
What advice do you have for other professionals serving the Jewish community locally?
We are not alone and there is no need to recreate the wheel! Come to JPRO events where you will be able to meet other professionals that are serving the Jewish community. You will be able to network, resource share, and bounce ideas off one another. I have learned so much from other local professionals!
Why is it important for Jewish organizations to encourage, prioritize, and even fund professional development opportunities for their staff?
In order to hire and retain the best staff possible, it is important to support professional development. Judaism puts a lot of emphasis on bettering our mind and soul — and professional development does just that!
Anything else you'd like to share?
I am looking forward to meeting, connecting, and learning from all of our local professionals serving the Jewish community!