When I Googled the term “lifelong learner,” this is what I found: Lifelong learning is defined as “all learning activity throughout life, to improve knowledge, skills, and competencies within a personal, civic, social, or employment-related perspective.”
About two and a half years ago, I was approached by our WRJ president, Susan Bass, and asked to chair a series of trainings for the WRJ Board. As an educator, I was honored to be asked to take on this new program and felt that maybe this was a place where I could educate others. During the next two years, these trainings were offered to our board members on various topics to assist them in gaining knowledge and expanding their leadership roles. Here is a list of board training sessions to date:
- Sacred Partnerships
- Embracing Change
- Recruiting Leadership Beyond Our Walls
- Making Torah Personal: Find Your Own Voice in the Text
- Making the Ask and Closing the Gift
Some of the training sessions were presented by our own WRJ women, and some were given by our URJ partners. Each training was designed with our women as the audience and offered ways to implement the teachings in their role on the WRJ Board, in their women’s group or synagogue, or any aspect of their lives. What a gift our women continue to be given!
The benefits of training opportunities like these can translate beautifully to your local districts, sisterhoods, and women’s groups. Topics of leadership development, personal growth, and Jewish literacy can help you stretch your mind and grow your skills.
As you look to the future of the benefits of participating in WRJ and your local groups, I ask each of you to ask yourselves, “Am I a lifelong learner?” If the answer is yes, I encourage you to take full advantage of all the learning opportunities offered to you and be the person who creates these learning opportunities for others.
My plan to work with our WRJ leadership to continue to offer board training that enhances our knowledge on topics to move us forward as WRJ women. I hope, if you are a member of the WRJ board, you will take advantage of these offerings and find a way to connect the presentations to your life. I hope for all of you that you will seek out ways to create lifelong learning opportunities in your communities. We are reminded of the famous words of President John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” No truer words are said that we can relate to in WRJ and in our lives. We embrace giving back to our communities, and these training sessions are just one avenue to help guide us in the important work that we do.
Now is the time for you to identify yourself as a lifelong learner. I hope you will join me as part of this distinguished group that not only learns but pays the knowledge forward!