Maryland Hillel hosts fourth annual Jewish Women’s Leadership Conference

Photo by Rachel Kalusin
Photo by Rachel Kalusin

by Rachel Kalusin

On Feb. 26, University of Maryland Hillel held their fourth annual Jewish Women’s Leadership Conference, an event focusing on networking, skill-building and women empowerment.

The goal of the conference is for women to enhance their leadership skills and attend workshops to practice various skills for the workplace. A networking dinner at the end of the evening provided students with an opportunity to network with professionals in their field.

“There are a lot of disparities in lot of fields, in terms of men and women, and our hope is that with having conferences like this and events like this, we can empower young women to go after what they really want in life, in terms of their fields and professions, and to also feel that empowerment and that capability that they really can do it, said Talia Orencel, director of Engagement and Social Justice.

The keynote speaker was Lisa Eisen, vice president of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, an organization that supports global initiatives that empower Jewish people to embrace Judaism.

The conference also featured Cherie R. Brown, founder and executive director of the National Coalition Building Institute, a leading diversity training and grassroots leadership organization. Brown spoke about finding an inner Jewish female voice and taking on social justice.

“As women we sometimes have a hard time getting jobs at the salary we want,” said Alyssa Silva, program and operations associate at Maryland Hillel, “It’s also hard to find women leaders to look up to so this is a great opportunity for students to find women to look up to in their field of study.”

The event lasted four hours, starting with a ‘mocktail’ hour, which involvedan introduction to the event chatting with peers. Co-chairs Elana Handelman and Samantha Goldman, led the workshops. The keynote speech was during dinner.

Sani Nabatkhorian, junior government and politics major, said, “The workshops and the networking are definitely my favorite parts of this event. I love hearing from strong Jewish women about their successful careers, gives me something to strive towards.”

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