Blog Series: Tools For Leaders
Tools for Leaders is an interactive and dynamic learning series designed to engage individuals who have shown leadership at JF&CS or elsewhere in the community who may be interested in greater leadership opportunities within our agency. Tools for Leaders provides the opportunity for participants to gain more in-depth knowledge of the agency’s programs, offers networking and leadership skill-building opportunities, and encourages participants to explore their future volunteer and leadership path at JF&CS. Our 2012 program kicked off on January 18, and we are very excited that Sheri Kornblum is going to be sharing her experiences in the program through our blog.
Volunteering is a passion of mine and something I feel very strongly about. Both my husband Craig and I feel so lucky to be a part of such a vibrant Jewish community. We hope to instill the importance of giving back in our two boys Micah (age 9) and Justin (age 7) just as our parents did.
I grew up in New Orleans in a family with parents who continuously demonstrated the importance of giving back to our community. Both were involved in many organizations, including our synagogue, Federation, Hadassah, Young Judaea and B’nai Brith. Now I’m a parent, and I believe – and show my children – that volunteering is more than just about sending in a check; it is also giving your time.
I came to Atlanta after graduating from the University of Georgia. Atlanta was always considered my second home, as I spent nine summers at Camp Barney Medintz and many of my camp friends lived here. Since moving here, I have been active in the Jewish Community, particularly with. JF&CS, the Marcus Jewish Community Center, The Weinstein School, Congregation B'nai Torah and The Davis Academy. I have been involved with JF&CS for many years, serving on the auction committee for The Tasting, attending the annual Community of Caring Luncheon, utilizing the Career Services division, assisting a family we met through the refugee resettlement program.
My first “Tools for Leaders” session:
Several weeks ago I received a letter in the mail letting me know I had been nominated to participate in the JF&CS Tools for Leaders Leadership Training program. I was honored to have been asked to participate in this program and eager to learn more about JF&CS as well as meet many new people.
We had been asked before we arrived to write down on a piece of paper our name and something unique about ourselves. We put them all in a bowl and then everyone picked one out and read about the person who he or she picked. This was a great ice breaker and a great way to begin to get to know the 17 participants as well as the leaders of the program and employees of JF&CS. We learned someone in the room had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, someone had run 26 marathons, someone is an identical twin and another person is a sign language professional and you can see her narrating plays at the Fox Theater on occasion. I found this to be much more engaging then just going around the room introducing ourselves. We then moved straight in to working on our volunteer mission statement - thinking and discussing the things that compel us to volunteer. We will each be presenting our own mission statement over the course of the program. We ended the night breaking into four teams. Over the next several months, each team will spend time learning about different programs and current initiatives of JF&CS, and then we will be presenting the information to the group in an interactive program.
Participating in this program is a true privilege, and I look forward to learning and sharing with the community over the next several months. I was surprised, to say the least, when I was asked to blog about each of our sessions, but I am excited to embrace this new challenge and share this experience with my community.