Over the course of six months, a diverse group of 12 professionals from across Jewish affiliations in the Charleston area came together to invest their own dollars into the Charleston Jewish Community. As the second cohort of Charleston Jewish Federation's NAGID 360 leadership development program, they were tasked with developing a mission statement, issuing a proposal request from local agencies, and then making the difficult decision to determine where those dollars would go.
After building consensus on shared Jewish values and vision for the Charleston Jewish community, they prioritized issues of personal importance in order to develop the following mission statement for their giving circle:
NAGID 360 is a cohort of Charleston Jewish Professionals aimed at inspiring and growing Jewish culture and heritage through programs focused on Holocaust remembrance, environmental sustainability, and education.
The young professionals received 11 grant requests from 10 local agencies and in the decision-making process had to negotiate, taking into account criteria that included: clarity of grant requests, focus on the NAGID 360 mission and opportunity to support as many organizations as possible while also making a difference.
The following organizations will receive funding from this granting opportunity: Addlestone Hebrew Academy, Brith Sholom Beth Israel (BSBI), Charleston Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Center Without Walls and Charleston Jewish Family Services.
See below for Abby Kobrovsky's reflections on her NAGID 360 experience.
I joined NAGID 360 to learn more about the Jewish Federation, meet other like-minded young professionals, and learn leadership skills that I can implement in my career. Based on the first meeting, I believe the program will be successful on all counts. We were lucky to have Jillian Wagenhiem’s guidance in this introductory session. Jillian, founder of Sertus Consulting, Inc., is experienced in generational philanthropic giving and will be sharing her expertise with NAGID 360 at various points in the next seven months.
To start off the session, Jillian led us through a few active listening exercises where we paired up and conversed about different topics, including our first Jewish memory. These exercises helped us get to know our fellow NAGID 360 members and also practice skills we will need when we meet with various Jewish Federation organizations over the course of the program.
My favorite part of the session was when Jillian led us through an exercise that helped the group hone in on our philanthropic values. Jillian gave us each a set of note cards—each card was labeled with a different value, including resiliency, compassion, and faith. We first individually ordered the values from most to least important, based on our personal opinions of what values matter the most in a philanthropic endeavor. We then paired off and explained our top five and bottom five values to our partner. I really enjoyed getting to know my partner in this exercise. It was an effective way to learn a lot about someone and bond quickly. After discussing our values in pairs, we each shared our top five values with the group and noted where there was overlap. It was fascinating to learn that almost every value was in at least one person’s top five. We are indeed a diverse group in both experience and values.
I’m looking forward to getting to know my fellow NAGID 360 members better over the coming months. The first session set a solid foundation for the thoughtful, engaging conversations to come!