Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
This is the first in a series of four farewell posts from the ISJL’s 2013-2015 Education Fellows, who will all begin their new adventures this June. Missy brings the first farewell – with plenty of pictures!
The ISJL office gets a lot of visitors. When our guests are brought around the office to meet and learn about each department, we each have the opportunity to introduce ourselves. This is how I introduce myself:
My name is Missy Goldstein. I’m from Jacksonville, Florida. I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!), where I received degrees in Jewish Studies and in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences. I’m an outgoing second-year Fellow, and when I finish my Fellowship I’ll be pursuing graduate degrees in Jewish Education and Nonprofit Management from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion.
I would not be the person I am today had I not had the incredible opportunity to spend two years traveling across the South as Education Fellow with the Goldring-Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life.
That introduction rolls off my tongue, but it’s hard to believe how quickly these past two years have flown, and that there was a time I didn’t know about the ISJL.
I remember the very first time I heard about the ISJL. Jeff Kaplan, the program director at my campus Hillel, told me about this great organization where his friend was working. “This would be perfect for you,” he told me. But I was a sophomore then, hardly prepared to start thinking about life after graduation, so I carefully stored the information in the back of my mind.
In the spring of my junior year, I was interning for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (formerly NATE, the National Association of Temple Educators). After a conversation about the work I hope to do, one of my co-workers suggested I speak with this woman named Rachel Stern. Turns out, she works for that great organization that Jeff had told me about. It wasn’t until I met Rachel the following Thanksgiving, as a job-hunting senior, and learned more about the ISJL, that I realized how right Jeff had been two years earlier. I would be perfect for this job, and it would be perfect for me.
I got the job. And now, in just two weeks, my tenure in Jackson will be up.
Given the sheer number of amazing memories I’m taking with me, for my farewell post here, I’m not going to try to summarize them all. As far as nostalgia goes, I’m the #TBT and Timehop queen – so I’m going to say “pictures are worth a thousand words,” and share some of my favorites. Here are a few gems from the past two years.
Thanks to everyone who helped make my past two Southern & Jewish years so incredible!