Last fall, I got an itch to get more involved in the young Jewish community life of DC, but I really didn’t know where to start. I asked friends about organizations that they are involved in, went to various events ranging from social to intellectual, and did some research on what I call the “alphabet soup” of Jewish organizations in DC. A friend told me about NeXus, a program run by Young Leadership by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and that it would give me a window into the Jewish community. He said it would show me how to build a role for myself, and I decided to go ahead and sign up.
I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but NeXus is an amazing program! Not only did I meet about 20 other similarly excited and motivated young Jewish adults, but I learned about how I could make a difference and rise into a leadership role in any organization that I chose to put my efforts towards. We learned about how to tell our story to get others engaged and interested. In one of my favorite sessions, we worked with adults with special needs on Good Deeds Day in March, doing arts and crafts and helping to make their day a little brighter. We also heard from young leaders who are involved in Federation, a local Hillel, a social entrepreneur who started her own organization, and the CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. They all urged us to be smart and engaged young leaders, and reminded us of the importance of being involved and active in our communities.
Because of what I learned, heard and experienced in NeXus, I decided to apply for and was selected to be a board member of a Jewish organization’s DC Young Professional Chapter where I will help lead my peers in support of Israel and Jewish relations with members of other faiths and ethnicities. Without that push from NeXus, I may not have made that leap to apply in the first place. In addition to taking this step forward in my life, I also met 20 awesome new friends who I look forward to continuing to build relationships with!
Young adults in the Washington, DC Jewish community, have the opportunity to make an impact. NeXus is an interactive program that will teach you about the work of The Jewish Federation, further develop your leadership skills and introduce you to other leaders in the DC Jewish community. For more information and to register, visit shalomdc.org/NeXus. Spaces are limited and people have already started registering! Have specific questions? Need more information? Contact Jaclyn Gurwitz at 301-348-7354.