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Training for Jewish Communal Professionals

15 June 2009

Victorian Jewish communal staff continue to improve their skills.

Established by the JCCV to facilitate the development of staff employed by Victorian Jewish community organisations, the Jewish Communal Professionals Group recently held another informative and stimulating meeting, this time at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation’s sumptuous new offices at Monash University’s Caulfield campus.

Ms Shelley Marshall, Lecturer at Monash’s Department of Business Law and Taxation gave a presentation of her research on the law governing corporations (which include not for profit community organisations) including company directors' perceptions of whose interests they serve in this role.

Ensuing discussion focused on issues such as the difficulties of professional staff who may sometimes feel caught between selling the vision of their board and working with people on the ground, and also the challenge of dealing with sensitive issues when employed in such a close knit community. Whilst very real concerns, the discussion showed that various strategies are available to ensure that these problems can be surmounted.

A further concern raised in the meeting was that professional staff would be better supported by more well trained and equipped board members and lay leaders. It was agreed that respect for validation of community professionals can not be achieved without the parallel empowerment of their employers. As participants were aware, the JCCV and the ACJC have been collaborating on providing suitable training. A further suggestion raised in this regard was dedicating time in board meetings to training and skills development.

This meeting again demonstrated the need for Jewish communal staff to understand that they are employed in a distinct profession which necessitates regular and appropriate skills improvement.

Please address any queries to Geoffrey Zygier 03 9272 5579

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