Jewish Vocational Service & Hillel Council of New England: An Ideal Partnership

The global pandemic has turned the world upside down. In the U.S., unemployment has soared to record highs and the economic future remains very uncertain. The situation for college students has been devastating. New graduates and other students have had to deal with rescinded offers, hiring freezes, increased competition, and uncertainty about their professional futures. At the same time, many college students have a lot of free time due to virtual learning and the restrictions of social distancing.

The current economic reality has paved the way for an ideal partnership between Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and the Hillel Council of New England (HCNE).

JVS is a well-respected leader in workforce development. One of their current strategic objectives is to more deeply engage a younger Jewish demographic. Hillel Council of New England has a built-in audience of current college students and recent graduates who are looking for ways to sharpen their skills, land a first-time job, or even to just find meaningful ways to connect with the larger community in these uncertain times. 

Together, the two organizations can offer support in the form of resume writing, interview prep, networking, and mentorship, all through a Jewish lens. 

The JVS HCNE Partnership offers:

  • Webinar Series: We will co-host a series of webinars on relevant topics like, “Job Searching During the Pandemic”, “Virtual Interviewing”, “Advanced Strategies for Online Networking”, etc.
  • Mentorship Program: With so many unknowns in the job market right now, college students would greatly benefit from a mentor or “buddy” to help them navigate the job-search process. Through regular check-ins, the students will have the opportunity to learn and seek guidance from a Jewish community leader and respected professional. We will ask members of the JVS and HCNE boards/board committees to volunteer as 1:1 mentors to Hillel participants. We will begin with a pilot group of 5-10 board members before expanding more broadly. 
  • Internship and job referral: JVS will serve as a resource to HCNE participants and recent graduates when it comes to planning their next career move. This may take the form of internship opportunities, connecting individuals with community members who are actively hiring, or even welcoming some of these young people into JVS for roles the organization needs filled internally.
  • Service Learning and Volunteer Opportunities: Young adults are looking to “make meaning” as they navigate this new, uncharted reality. An additional component of the mentorship program, or launched later in a second phase, could include service-learning/volunteer opportunities. JVS partner agencies and programs can provide the framework for volunteer offerings given as choices to the program participants.

If you have any questions about this program, please reach out to Judy Sacks at jsacks@jvs-boston.org.