Candidates for and Careers in Jewish Professional Service: Summary of the Reports and Some Additional Reflections

By Charles S. Liebman


Liebman examines three papers dealing with two sets of respondents to assess Jewish professional life. One study conducted by Cohen and Sarna deals with candidates for Jewish professional careers and is based on about 900 applications for Wexner Fellowships and are subsequently divided into two categories: those "groomed" for or "born to serve" a career in Jewish professional life and the "bloomed" or "late bloomers." The Professional Career Study conducted by Fishman deals with the problems of those already serving as Jewish professionals and is based on telephone interviews with 280 people who completed their Jewish professional training after 1980. Liebman analyses the informative quality of these studies, arguing that Jewish professional choose their careers because they want to make an impact on the Jewish community, not because they want to pursue a particular career. He claims that there is an inherent tension between the sense of calling, the visionary goals which both the applicants and career professionals express, and with the role of the professional in carrying out specific structured, organizationally defined tasks. Finally, Liebman recommends not to substitute more professionalism for vision but to take a closer look at the vision and to formulate professional goals consistent with it.

Topic: Continuity, Professionalism, Professional Development, Jewish Identification, Jewish Communal Service, Day Schools, Education, Leadership, Data, Jewish Continuity

Page Number(s): 1-16

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

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Bibliographic Information:
Liebman, Charles S. Candidates for and Careers in Jewish Professional Service: Summary of the Reports and Some Additional Reflections. 2000: 1-16.


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