CareerHub Interview is an ongoing series where we speak with and learn from emerging leaders working and volunteering in the Jewish community. Below, we catch up with Ellie Reis, events specialist at Birthright Israel Foundation. Ellie shares the values she learned from family, how she stays focused on the big picture and why you should know your favorite pair of socks.
1. What is the best part of your job? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The best part of my job is working in an environment where everyone is focused on the goal of sending as many young Jewish adults to Israel as possible. Every day, we feel a part of this mission and that everyone’s role is crucial in making this happen.
2. What is your vision for Jewish life? How do you see the Jewish community evolving over time?
I think that the Jewish community has evolved tremendously since the time of my grandparents, when involvement and philanthropic efforts were a part of daily life. My grandparents saw the devastation of the Jewish people in the Holocaust, the birth of a Jewish state and wars to defend the right to exist. It’s important to engage Jews at a young age, to instill the concept of Tikkun Olam and a love for our homeland. I believe Birthright Israel offers that first connection point to many young Jewish adults to connect with peers, culture and their Jewish identity.
3. When things get busy/challenging/frustrating, what keeps you going? What is your source of inspiration?
I try to remember the bigger picture. Our organization is trying to raise a certain amount of money and meeting that goal (or hopefully even exceeding it) will allow us to send thousands of Jewish young adults on a life-changing trip. I was raised in a family with strong Zionist roots so I think about my own personal journey and what I love about Israel and would want to share with someone experiencing this amazing country on Birthright Israel trip for the first time.
4. What is your favorite interview question to answer? What is your favorite interview question to ask?
Sometimes my favorite interviews are those that you aren’t expecting. I’ve found that the most successful ones are those that you are able to build a rapport with. I think a lot about the people you may be working with, and it’s important to be interesting as well as be interested in what they do and who they are. A colleague recently told me that she asks herself (on the interviewer end), would I like to have lunch with this person? When I was interviewing for my current position, I was asked what my favorite pair of socks is.
5. What is your best time management trick?
I am a fairly organized person, but when things get busy, I make a point to write everything down in to-do lists with deadlines so that I can prioritize. I am often working on more than one event at a time, each in their own phase of development, so a calendar helps me stay on track and not forget any of the small details.
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The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or program participants.