Ronnel Conn Awarded the Mark Meltzer Young Professional Award - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Ronnel Conn Awarded the Mark Meltzer Young Professional Award

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

By Emily St. Lifer, MAJNM/MCM '15
Development Associate at Temple Beth Am/Pressman Academy 
JCPSC Administrative Director 

Emily St. Lifer and Ronnel ConnRonnel Conn (MAJCS/MPA ’07) was my supervisor while I interned at the Westside JCC, during my time at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. Thanks to Ronnie’s guidance and patience, I learned many valuable lessons from him including how to be a genuine professional in the Jewish community. As I moved through the rest of graduate school and now at my first job post graduation, I have been so grateful to have Ronnie as a mentor. This has been especially helpful as I've moved into other leadership roles including the new Administrative Director of JCPSC. This is why I nominated him for The Mark Meltzer Young Professional Award at the Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California's 36th Annual Awards Dinner on November 17th, 2016 at Sephardic Temple in Los Angeles. The Young Professional Award honors someone who has been in the field 10 years or less and who exemplifies creative initiative in our professional community.

As Assistant Executive Director, Ronnie leads the team at the Westside Jewish Community Center, here in Los Angeles, to think creatively about how they can best reach the local community. This is done through teen and family innovative programming, practicing customer service, pursuing excellent fundraising opportunities, and investing in his fellow co-workers. In addition to his excellent work with the WJCC, Ronnie is involved locally in the Jewish community. As a lay leader, he has been a volunteer at the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, an active member of our JCPSC Executive Committee helping to plan our yearly conference, Chair of the ZSJNM Alumni Association, and he is very connected to his synagogue, Leo Baeck Temple.

Additionally, he has modeled himself as a top tier professional, holding himself with ease and confidence and showing what one can do when advocating for one’s beliefs. He is extremely down-to-earth, caring, smart, inquisitive and is a true mentor.  He has his feet on the ground, yet holds this zest and love for life and the Jewish community. His clear thinking and understanding of the complex nature of human life makes me lucky to know him and know we have him as an excellent young professional in our Jewish community. Mazel tov to Ronnie on your professional excellence. I am honored to call you my colleague, fellow alumnus, mentor, and friend!

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates leaders to serve North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.