A big step forward
After seven-and-a-half years of working in communications for an NGO that advocates for religious freedom in Israel, I’ve accepted a grant writing position with the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI); my official start date is Sunday, May 8th.
Change is never easy, of course, and I am incredibly fond of my coworkers here at Hiddush, whom I’ve grown to know and love over the years. Also, I cannot think of a cause that I feel more supportive of than religious freedom. I remain motivated to support Hiddush as much as possible, and I’ll probably be doing some part-time work for them – at least until they find a replacement for me.
Nevertheless, Hiddush is a tiny non-profit organization, within which there’s very limited room for professional development and advancement. Also, while I’ve been doing online communications work for a decade or more, that is not where my heart lies; what I really want is to write.
My career in Israel went in the direction of communications for practical reasons, but, at the outset, that decision was born out of my passion for writing. In the past several years, sparked by the unexpected and shocking death of my father, I once again took to the keyboard and found that missing piece of myself.
I worked as a counselor at a JAFI summer camp in St. Petersburg, Russia for three summers; and that is where I met my wife. Also, I am fully supportive of and very comfortable with JAFI’s mission:
The Jewish Agency provides the global framework for Aliyah, ensures global Jewish safety, strengthens Jewish identity and connects Jews to Israel and one another, and conveys the voice of the Jewish People to the State of Israel to help shape its society.
Further, I feel a warm connection with the people who interviewed me, and I was told that they felt the same way about me. This is a very lovely way to start a new job.
A good career move
In practical terms, this is a good career move for me because JAFI is a well-established organization, which has been around for nearly a century; and there is room for me to grow professionally within the organization itself.
Also, while I’ve been exposed to writing grants for non-profit organizations at work, this has never been my direct responsibility. Becoming a grant writer will afford me the opportunity to develop myself professionally in a new way, and this writing position plays to one of my greatest strengths.
I both feel confident about my qualifications for my new position and excited to expand my professional horizons. My feelings about this career move are overwhelmingly positive.
But what about blogging?
I hope to continue writing poetry & prose at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, but my posting schedule will probably be reduced. For months now, I’ve been posting twice or thrice daily; and I doubt I’ll be able to keep that pace up once I begin my new job.
Still, our shared community and my creative writing have become incredibly dear to me, and I plan to remain an active member of the global poetry community to the extent possible. Never did I imagine that I would find myself in poetry to the extent I have. Never did I expect to connect with so many lovely and creative people from all around the world.
The Skeptic’s Kaddish is a major part of my identity, and I intend to continue developing it and developing myself through creative writing for many years to come.