Growing up, I was heavily involved with the Edmonton Jewish community. Attending Talmud Torah, having a bar mitzvah at Beth Shalom, going to Camp BB, and being an active member of BBYO engaged me with the community. Because of these experiences, I have always valued my Jewish identity and the opportunities the Jewish community offered me. I never fully understood the role of the Jewish Federation of Edmonton in supporting our Jewish organizations.
Two years ago, I began studying commerce at the University of Victoria. While moving away to another province for school has been an amazing experience, it has left me missing home and the Edmonton Jewish community. I am very grateful the Federation offered me the chance to be a summer student; it allowed me to reconnect with the community meaningfully. The Federation allowed me to give back and learn valuable commerce skills.
As a communications consultant, they have assigned me many projects throughout the summer. Prior to this position, I had little experience in marketing and communications. By being tasked with a variety of assignments, I could expand my knowledge to many diverse subjects. Managing the Federation’s social media accounts and newsletter has been my most consistent responsibility. With support from my supervisor, Tammy Vineberg, I learned how to design graphics, create marketing strategies, and write post descriptions.
Supplying the community with content has been both fun and valuable. I could show my friends and family what we published in the Alberta Jewish News, Facebook, Instagram, website, or newsletter and say, “I did that”. Being my first desk job, it taught me commerce-related skills and how to be a productive and professional team member in the workplace.
Besides marketing, my job involved going to events, collaborating with organizations, and engaging with community members. My interactions showed me the positive impact the Federation has. I interviewed several individuals, all of which were valuable experiences. As a student, I know post-secondary education can be expensive. When I heard scholarship recipient Victoria Taylor’s story, I understood how the role that the Federation can have on one person’s life. It was amazing to hear how much the Federation’s scholarship helped her with schooling. This has motivated her to continue pursuing Jewish studies.
The Israel Pavilion at Heritage Festival is the biggest event produced by the Federation every summer. The Federation team worked on the pavilion since the day I joined the team. We started out with the concept of an archaeological dig and a virtual reality exhibit. Weeks of planning resulted in two tents at the grounds with volunteers serving Israeli food and displaying Jewish life. My experience at the Israel Pavilion taught me how important the Jewish Federation is for both the community and the city. Throughout my two days working at the pavilion, the displays fascinated many individuals. They left the pavilion with positive thoughts about Israel and the Jewish community.
As I wrap up my summer and prepare for school, I am grateful for my experience at the Federation. I must thank Stacey, Tammy, and the rest of the team for immediately making me feel welcome yet pushing me to try new things. I am thankful to have worked with such a great team.
Over these last 14 weeks, I have developed key skills I will use in my education and career. I see the difference that the Federation makes in people’s lives, in partner organizations, and in the community. Although my time with the Federation is ending, I look forward to engaging with the community as a member.