Carrie Bohn, M.A.J.N.M. '22
Program Manager, IKAR
Los Angeles, CA
Please tell us about your experience as a Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management (Zschool) student.
When I was considering what graduate program I wanted to pursue, Zschool really stood out to me for a variety of reasons. The unique experience that the nonprofit management program offers, paired with the incredible faculty and staff that would help guide me through was extremely attractive. Some of my former colleagues are Zschool alum and after hearing about how their degree aided in launching their careers, I knew that I also wanted to make HUC-JIR part of my story.
What are you learning in the Zschool?
In Zschool I have learned so many practical skills, including how to work with nonprofit boards, handle conflict in the workplace, and how to learn from failure. I have found that my classmates are incredibly helpful, and it has been such a joy learning together as a cohort. Some of my favorite conversations in Zschool have revolved around us all sharing our unique experiences and taking what we have learned from our internships or workplaces as a means to inform the discussions.
What is your favorite experience in the Zschool?
There are so many moments in Zschool that I have really loved but my favorite experience so far has definitely been “Wacky Wednesday.” During summer session, our lovely professor and associate director Mandi Richardson organized an amazing virtual experience for us in which we were able to meet with Jewish professionals from all across Los Angeles. Having the opportunity to learn first-hand from veterans in the field has truly been instrumental in my growth, and I cannot wait for next summer!
What is This Work is Great (TWIG)? How were you involved with it?
I started hosting the This Work is Great show in September 2020. At that time, the Office of Recruitment and Admissions (ORA) asked me to be the student ambassador for the Zschool and TWIG is a project within the ambassador’s responsibilities. My job was to schedule with the ORA team, get the guests involved, and host each episode.
What was most meaningful about hosting TWIG?
It was really exciting to share my experience with other students and have something to look forward to in the middle of the pandemic. It was a goal of mine to be involved at HUC-JIR however I could, and while it had been challenging because of the pandemic, this helped me feel like I’m part of the student body and HUC-JIR community. I became more confident being live on camera and it has been really nice to feel connected to other Jewish professionals who are so deep in Jewish professional life and to learn how they got there. I also enjoyed learning from the ORA team about how the recruitment office works. Overall, it was a cool and unique opportunity for me.
How has your HUC-JIR education prepared you for your work?
A lot of my training has happened on the ground during my internship at IKAR where I began as a Communications and Development Intern. It has been really nice to work with that community and be part of IKAR with such a cool, outspoken clergy team. I have learned a lot about the Jewish community and where I can see myself in the future. I enjoyed hearing from people on TWIG interviews about what gets them up in the morning and relate that to my own career. I have also talked to so many interesting, personable professors. It was challenging to not be in-person, but it still felt like a community because they are so kind.
What challenges do you face, and what gives you hope?
Moving to LA on my own during a pandemic, being in a new place that I haven’t really been able to explore, seeing so many people suffering, and being away from family have been challenging recently. All of my family is on the east coast so it’s been hard to not see them a lot. I feel hopeful about the future and where our health system is heading with vaccine roll-out and more people getting the vaccine. I feel hopeful about next year, my career, and jobs being available when I am out of HUC-JIR. My classmates also bring me a lot of hope – it’s comforting knowing there are so many bright Jewish leaders around me.
I am really grateful for the HUC-JIR community. I feel very lucky to have been in school at HUC-JIR, interning at IKAR, to have this position, and for all of the amazing opportunities that HUC-JIR and ORA have given me. I have had such a unique experience and really appreciate the professional development and other opportunities that it has brought me. I have met so many great people in and out of HUC-JIR because of TWIG, and have grown a lot.