The Changing Nature of a Jewish Communal Professional

Being a Jewish communal professional today is more a statement about current employment than professional identity.

By Matt Freedman

Six months ago, I ended nearly 23 years of continuous professional service in Jewish communal organizations. From the day I graduated college, until that day six months ago, I spent not a single day of professional work outside Jewish communal organizations. Nor, until perhaps nine months ago, did the idea of working outside Jewish communal life even occur to me. From my first day, as a graduate Fellow at Hillel International, to my last day as a Vice President at Jewish Federations of North America, my Jewish journey and my career path were inextricable. My position today, overseeing development and helping to grow a non-sectarian nonprofit is both gut-wrenching and liberating and altogether unforeseen both by me and by the many exceptional mentors who helped build my career and to whom I remain deeply grateful.

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