By Elana Rivel, Associate Director

The heart of the work of Jewish Learning Venture is relationship building. Whether we are running programs for families with young children, providing consultation to Education Directors or Rabbis, running workshops for congregational leaders at congregations throughout the area or facilitating professional development for early childhood educators (or any number of other programs/workshops/resource development we may be doing) – we believe that it is through trust, passion and sincere interest in, and for, the communities we are working with that we can be effective to empower others to make changes, taking steps on their Jewish journeys.

In order to do this important work, our staff has to have strong relationships with each other. Each one of us works in numerous areas of the community and we must be in constant conversation internally about how to strengthen our connections, to understand where additional support may be needed and who in the agency might be the “right” person to provide that next connection. Each staff member at Jewish Learning Venture brings unique strengths and warmth to the agency, and to the community at large, and we are thankful and appreciative for each of them.

Today we celebrated the staff, and Hanukkah, at a lunch. It was an opportunity to literally get out of the office and spend time together, hearing about upcoming vacations and the college kids who are home, about Hanukkah traditions and childhood stories. It was a wonderful way to end the holiday, and to pause and reflect once again on the gifts of our staff.

Wishing all of you a most meaningful last night of Hanukkah, with abundant light, warmth and promise.