Empowering the next generation of Jewish communal leaders

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 For the past nine months, our very own Karina Munoz (Summer Youth Employment Program director) had the opportunity to participate in the Community Connections Fellowship, a program of the Center of Community leadership (a division of the JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF NEW YORK

For the past nine months, our very own Karina Munoz (Summer Youth Employment Program director) had the opportunity to participate in the Community Connections Fellowship, a program of the Center of Community leadership (a division of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, an affiliate of the UJA-Federation of New York. This program was designed to "empower the next set of leaders in the Jewish communal world to engage in innovative community-building throughout New York". Karina spent this time working with other Jewish agency professionals, receiving the knowledge and guidance needed to serve New York's diverse populations. Some topics that the fellowship covered were intergroup relations, coalition building, and cultural competency.

The goals for the Community Connections Fellowship participants were to strengthen their own professional and personal values, to work together on collective communal issues, and to strengthen their own agencies and the Jewish communal structure as a whole. By coming together and learning from experts in the field, Karina was able to share resources with her fellow participants in achieving their goal of strengthening the ability of local Jewish agencies to work in diverse communities.

"It was a pleasure being part of the Community Connections Fellowship" said Karina. "I really enjoyed listening to others' ideas and thoughts. One of the most valued things I will walk away with is the ability to put together grants." Karina is referring to the $1,000 grant awarded to the Kings Bay Y Temple to support their inaugural program bringing teens of American-Jewish and Uzbek-Muslim backgrounds. The program is designed to "bring teenagers together in intercultural, social action and community building activities, with an aim to develop the understanding of the differences and similarities between the two groups."

"For several months we put together a grant that represented the fellowship's mission, which is to bring groups from diverse backgrounds together" said Karina. "It was gratifying to help an organization carry out a program that would have an impact in their community by bringing people together."

We congratulate Karina on her outstanding accomplishment.