For the last few years, Repair the World has convened a delegation of Jewish non-profit professionals at the annual Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service (June 27-29 this year). So much exciting work has happened in the world of service and volunteering within the Jewish world over the last decade. The delegation offers a chance for some of the leaders of this movement to get together, share ideas, and learn from one another.

We are so excited to have this year’s delegation meet one another. In the meantime, we want to introduce some of them to YOU! Here, we spoke with delegate Jennie Gates Beckman. As Director of Volunteer Strategy for the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies, she spends her days helping Jewish social service agencies engage volunteers strategically and elevating the role of volunteering within AJFCA’s network. She’s a five time attendee of the Conference for Volunteering and Service and a returning Repair the World delegate, so she had lots to share about the experience. Read on…

What inspired you to come to CVS and to be a part of Repair the World’s delegation?
This is my 5th conference; as someone who is very focused on elevating the level of volunteer engagement in our member agencies, I have found the conference to be incredible for sharing experiences and best practices with others in the field. The Repair the World delegation has added great value in bringing that shared experience to a specific sub-set of the conference attendees, allowing me to make meaningful connections with others working in the Jewish community.

What have you gained professionally from your experience as a delegate?
Connecting with others doing this work in the Jewish communal landscape is key to moving our agenda forward. The gathering of professionals from all different Jewish organizations has allowed me to learn from other delegates and have an elevated dialogue about service in a Jewish setting. In addition, it is always exhilarating to get the inside scoop on the newest research and materials being offered by Repair.

How have you incorporated lessons from the conference into your work at AJFCA?
As a result of conversations started at CVS, we’ve solidified partnerships with organizations represented by other delegates (as well as other individual professionals) and discovered program models to share with our agencies. We’ve even used the conference itself as a location to bring our member agencies together for further networking.

What are you most looking forward at this year’s CVS?
After many years of attendance exclusively as a participant, I am so excited to also be a presenter at this year’s conference. It was our connection made through the delegation that inspired Sheryl Parker and me to design our session, “How to Seed Volunteerism as a Core Strategy for Community Engagement.” We invited fellow delegate Beth Steinhorn to moderate our panel which also includes Susan Danish, Executive Director of The Association of Junior Leagues International.