By Matthew Ghan
One of the highlights of The Nachshon Project is the inspiring people that we get to hear from over the course of the semester. One of those people Erika Rudin Luria, President of Cleveland’s Jewish Federation spent time with us speaking about her journey that led her to today. Not only did she do this, but she also showed us different case studies that she faces on a daily basis in her role. In addition, was opened about the ways she leads her community during challenging times. My dream is to be a Jewish professional one day in a role just like her’s. That being said these roles come with unexpected challenges in our modern age. It’s during the hardest moments that a leaders true colors come out.
One of my favorite moments of our time with her was during the case studies. We broke off into groups and were given different situations ranging from issues of early childhood education in the community to deal with senior citizens in the community. We broke off into teams of three to four people and had to create solutions to these problems. Within each team, there was a variety of ideas and opinions. Most groups were not able to come up with a solution. It was through this process we saw how out of the box ideas were formed at the federation. After every group shared Erika shared her perspective of the different case studies. She showed the group opinions that we didn’t even think of and challenged our ideas even more.
This session showed us all the important role we play in the Jewish community. Erika sees the value in young professionals. We bring new and inventive ideas to the table. Erika empowered all of us to do that, and through this experience it makes me think about how we empower young people. I found myself wanting to be involved in empowering young people even more.