For far too long, we have overly praised volunteers for bringing outside expertise to our organizations, while underinvesting in the ongoing professional development of the individuals that work in the field full time. While some funders have recognized this imbalance and are investing deeply in strategies that try to elevate the professionalism of the field (and the overall work satisfaction of the professionals), the challenge is far too endemic within our community to be solved from the top down. It needs to be solved from the bottom up. Failure to do so will continue the (oftentimes silent) frustration of our professionals, the diminishment of appeal in pursuing careers in the Jewish community, and the overall deterioration of the fundamental partnership between professional and volunteer leaders that helped create much of the community infrastructure we benefit from today.
Seth Cohen, “Being Heard: What We Owe Jewish Community Professionals”, eJewish Philanthropy (7 February 2019) [https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/being-heard-what-we-owe-jewish-community-professionals/]