Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Meetings, Media, and Many Mensches

Last week was a whirlwind! While the previous week was spent learning the ins and outs of the office, helping with flood relief, and trying not to get lost in my own building (let alone the commute from one location to another). I spent last week meeting with my bosses, directors of various community organizations that work with Holocaust survivors, and developing new flyers and promotional materials for the new initiative I am part of.

I had the good fortune to meet with the director of the Detroit National Council of Jewish Women. This provided a great opportunity to learn about the history of the organization as well as the services they provide to the community. At first, I was a little nervous about going to the meeting alone, but it was fine. Everyone in this field has been very nice, and has been incredibly welcoming.  They provide so much to the community that I had not ever heard of. I enjoyed getting to talk about what I am here at JFS to do and how our two organizations can work together to meet these goals. The director was also able to provide suggestions on how I can get the word out about our town hall meetings through community groups, publications, new media, etc.

The following day I got to meet with the director of the Holocaust Memorial Center, and it was another great meeting that proved to be incredibly productive.  I was able to provide a brief overview of what I will be doing during my year of service, and what my goals are. Then we were able to discuss how I plan on going about locating survivors, providing a needs assessment, and ways to engage with the community. The director was able to provide some good ideas that, hopefully, should eliminate frustration for both parties, and will allow us to gather the information we want to collect. Additionally, he was kind enough to allow us to use some of his space if we need it for our future town hall meetings, etc. During my meeting with the director, I got to meet a Holocaust survivor, and got to explain to him what I am here to do. It was a profound experience to meet this kind man and hear him talk about his needs, things he has heard in his community, and to see his eyes light up when he saw that someone was interested in what he and his peers needed to make their lives better. On the way out of the museum, I got to meet another staff member who is excited about me joining the team and wants to plan some events where I can interact with the community in conjunction with the center. I left the meeting feeling awesome and refueled to keep working on this awesome job. It is not often that someone can leave a meeting feeling excited about their work, let alone on a Friday, but I was on a work induced high most of the weekend.

Until next week…

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