Australasian Union of Jewish Students

LDP Erin Gordon

LDP Erin Gordon

I look at challenges differently. I no longer see a problem but rather an opportunity for creativity and innovation.

AUJS LDP Testimonial by Erin Gordon, National Leadership and Development Officer

 

I entered AUJS’ Leadership Development Program cautious, but excited. I was still unsure of what I could learn on this program that I could not learn from any seminar or management book. Nearly four months on, I am glad to say I was proven completely wrong.

 

The experience is incomparable to anything else. What you learn from LDP cannot be taught in a book or a lecture. It must be experienced to truly understand its impacts. I could list all the skills that I learnt on the program and there are many; resourcefulness, communication, engagement- but it goes beyond that.

 

The program completely changed the way I think. I look at challenges differently. I no longer see a problem but rather an opportunity for creativity and innovation. My language for describing non-profit work, community and Judaism have changed, to the extent where ‘resources’ has become one of the most used words in my vocabulary (to my executive’s delight).

 

With each country and organisation, I was amazed and inspired by the diversity of the Jewish community. Each part of the global Jewish Community has a lot to teach. In Budapest, learning to lower barriers to Judaism with a simple tool like language. In the US, how to deepen and widen engagement with inactive members. All the way to learning how to start tough conversations and share with others the multiplicity that is Israel.

 

I learned from incredible speakers and organisations. However, some of the most valuable lessons I absorbed were from the eight people I travelled with. To see other young Jews as invested and passionate about the future of AUJS and the Jewish Community as me, assured me that the Australian Jewish Community has a bright future ahead, that I want to be a part of.

 

This scholarship afforded me the opportunity to continue my exploration into global Jewish peoplehood whilst on exchange. Whilst I’ve loved my experience in the American community, there really is no place like home. This experience has cemented for me, my belief that there is something truly unique about the Australian Jewish Community. This is because of programs like LDP, where the rewards are felt years after a participant has returned.

 

One speaker told us that who you are as a leader is contagious. I am hopeful that my leadership back home, will be as contagious as the leader’s we met, that inspired me.

 

My experiences on LDP will be the tools that help me get there.