Josh Furman is the Director of Programs and Strategy for Hillel at the University of Washington. Each year, Josh helps the undergraduate and Jconnect Seattle programs serve 2,500 students and young adults with innovative programming and a thoughtful approach to Judaism.
A few weeks ago, I was working on a Passover experience to allow young adults to share a meal with restaurant owners while hearing their stories of immigration. This is very different from when I needed to toivel knives for a kosher turkey schechting (ritual slaughter), and even more different from when I coordinated aerial and trapeze artists for Purim.
I think this is what makes Hillel work special, and my past 6 years have been full of opportunities that have challenged me to think creatively about what Judaism can - and does - mean for the young adults and students we serve. When I first began working for Hillel at the University of Washington, I found myself in a job that allowed me to be creative, while also providing me with the autonomy, support, and resources to succeed.
There would not have been many jobs that would have given me that amount of responsibility early on, and as a supervisor, I am now tasked with creating an environment that pushes my team to take risks, ask hard questions, and to challenge each other to dream up the craziest, most out-of-the-box programs.
Hillel keeps Judaism on an exciting trajectory, and as an employee you will feel the pulse of our ever-evolving community in ways you might never have expected. We work with the Esther's of our generation, who are embracing their identities, and the Nachson's who take risks that we could have never imagined. This work helps students and young adults see the vibrancy of Judaism, and we are guides as they navigate this special time in their lives. Hillel challenges the next generation of Jews to be thoughtful, committed, progressive, and inclusive, and there are many days where I realize that because of this job, I am growing just as much as the participants we work with.