Over the past 12 years, I’ve been a “nomad of sorts” making new homes every few years across the country for work. Montana, Illinois, Arkansas and Wisconsin mark a journey filled with adventures and a few slices of Jewish life — yes, even in the Northwest corner of Montana! Finding a Jewish connection always offered a source of comfort and familiarity living away from home, and it continues to do so as I settle into my latest stop in Milwaukee.
In my first few months here, I felt the warm embrace of the Jewish community. After meeting a representative from the Milwaukee Jewish Federation at an event, she took me out to lunch to learn about my interests in Jewish life. I went to a few social events and started meeting more people. Then came an invite to be part of a revitalized Young Leadership Division of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. I decided to go for it — marking my greatest level of involvement in a Jewish community since growing up — and am happy I did.
Since joining the YLD Council in the fall of 2014, I’ve enjoyed meeting other young Jewish professionals with a similar passion, along with several memorable experiences. I helped co-chair our first event — a speed dating program where participants went from table-to-table to sip Israeli wines and learn about the different agencies supported by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. The following year we launched Share Shabbat – one of my favorite YLD events. This program partners small groups of young professionals with different host families for a Shabbat meal. I remember the first one I went to at the home of Alan and Sue Carneol, and how our group blended so well, we stayed there much later than I thought we would! More enlightening opportunities came with Sunday mornings volunteering at the Jewish Community Food Pantry, a seat at the 2016 Milwaukee Jewish Federation Economic Forum and a reception exclusively for YLD members with journalist David Gregory, the keynote speaker at the 2017 Milwaukee Jewish Federation Campaign Kick-off event.
My biggest interest overall is community service and I now serve on a council committee leading those efforts. We have a lot of work and planning ahead but I’m excited to elevate that component of YLD going forward. I want to emphasize the word “component” because there are many of them when it comes to YLD – we actually call them pillars. We want to be the group that helps you meet more of your Jewish peers while connecting you with current leaders to learn from. We want to help you get involved in Jewish events and causes that make a genuine impact on our local community and beyond. Ultimately, we want to nourish a Jewish pride that will stay with you for years to come and keep the Federation close to your heart. We’re starting to see some new faces at our recent events and are thrilled to see folks “trying out” YLD. We just hope you come back again and bring some friends!
For more information about YLD and upcoming events, check out our new Facebook page at: Facebook.com/YLDMilwaukee.
Max Seigle, a communications and marketing coordinator for Next Door in Milwaukee, is a former WISN-TV multimedia journalist and has been active with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Division since 2014.
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About the Young Leadership Division
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Division helps ensure that the Milwaukee Jewish community goes from strength to strength across the generations. They engage young leaders by developing the skills they need to guide our community into the future and by providing them with social, volunteer, philanthropic and networking opportunities.
Young Leadership Director Lauren Berger