I LOVE MY CAREER! Not just my job. Not just waking up and going to a place where I love spending most of my waking hours; I love what I have dedicated my life since college to doing every day.
A career with Hillel is not just a job, it’s a commitment to Jewish life, and it’s a commitment to helping shape the Jewish world as we know it. Every day I get to wake up at a very reasonable hour (9am most days) to be in the office by 10am. I don’t have to futz around in my closet looking for the most professional looking attire – I don’t even own a suit – and on many days I can wear jeans! I’m greeted by colleagues who smile and say, “Good Morning.” There are usually one or two students around, who are eager to see me and greet me most warmly! I have the flexibility of meeting a student for my morning brew and leisurely make my way to the office by 10:45 am, coffee in hand.
About 60 percent of my day is spent engaging students in conversations about life, school, Jewish things, family, relationships, and the big world ahead of them. Seriously, I actually make a decent living and get to spend my day talking to people – people who are the future of my world. My students are future game changers in technology, medicine, politics, and education. They are future philanthropists and lay leaders. I am challenged by them, by my colleagues and by the big picture of Jewish Life in this millennium.
I spend about 30 percent of my day mentoring, supervising, and advising my team. From graduate student interns, to entry level professionals, seasoned Rabbis, and a schlicha (emissary) from Israel; I am surrounded by bright, articulate, and hungry professionals who deeply care about what they can contribute to the Jewish world through our work. Yes, it’s that amazing!
As I advance professionally through Hillel, many doors have opened for me at my University and internationally. I just returned from my third excursion to Israel this year alone, all expenses paid!
I have been asked to teach, to mentor, to facilitate, and to supervise – students, my peers, and those more senior to me professionally. I have colleagues around the world that I can call upon for brainstorming, collaboration, and a couch to crash on. I feel loved. I feel nurtured. I feel celebrated. Most importantly, I feel valued and respected. Our hours are long. Our weeks are intense. I take work home with me most nights, not out of requirement, but out of dedication and professionalism.
As a pluralist, Hillel has nurtured my ideas of what is good Jewishly. You do you, whatever, however, as long as you feel a connection, a commitment, and something meaningful Jewishly – I’ll provide the tools, the resources, the options – you find the meaning for you and LIVE it! I’ve found the place for me to live it and love it!
Carrie Fischbein Darsky has been the Assistant Director at Columbia/Barnard Hillel since October 2009. She is the former executive director at Deal Sephardic Network, assistant executive director of the JCC of the Greater Palm Beaches, and the teen and camp director at the 92nd Street Y. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Carrie has extensive experience with children, teens, and families, with specific expertise in conflict resolution, family therapy, recreational practice, and community building.
Pictured left to right: David Offit, the author, and Chava Blivass: Leading the next generation by example at UJA Federation of NY's Super Sunday 2012