By Josh Caplan
I have been involved with IMPACT since my graduation from law school in 2007. It quickly became apparent to me that The Associated was dedicated to incorporating young professionals into its mission. My participation in IMPACT has afforded me many incredible social networking, leadership development, volunteer and philanthropic opportunities in Baltimore’s Jewish community. The valuable skills and relationships I have cultivated through IMPACT translate well in my professional life as an attorney.
This year, I have had the tremendous privilege of co-chairing “A Taste of IMPACT,” a four-part series of educational, service and social networking programs for young professionals who want to learn more about IMPACT, The Associated and its agencies. This initiative engaged two cohorts of 15 to 20 people in both the fall and spring. We learn about hands-on volunteerism, Israel and overseas committees, leadership development opportunities and even Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister. (In fact, two participants from this past year have become Big Brothers and Big Sisters.) It’s incredibly fulfilling to lead a program that engages young leaders as they begin to chart their own path within our system. Many have expressed interest in joining the next class of the Young Leadership Council (YLC) – only time will tell how they’ll positively impact our system in the future.
IMPACT has also introduced me to the work of The Associated’s agencies and programs and inspired me to carve out my own niche of meaningful Jewish involvement. In addition to IMPACT, I serve on the board of Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC), and I volunteer with Shalom Baltimore, a program which welcomes newcomers to Baltimore’s Jewish community. Both JVC and Shalom Baltimore provide superb public service and social networking opportunities for young professionals in a casual environment.
My involvement with IMPACT has served as a springboard to my development as a lay leader, and I am always excited to share my experience with others. I am proud to serve as an IMPACT ambassador, and I look forward to introducing more young professionals to The Associated in the coming year.