Amanda Glynn lives in Wayland with her husband, Martin, and their three children, Max (6), Jake (4), and Will (11 months). Having grown up in Wayland, Amanda has deep roots in the Metrowest area. In addition to her new role as Connector, she is also a Career Advisor with Commongood Careers, a national search firm for the nonprofit sector. Amanda and her family are active members of Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland. Amanda's parents were founding members at Temple Shir Tikva when she was just an infant. Amanda continues to build a strong community, like her parents helped to start, by serving on the Board of Trustees and as a Co-Chair of the Preschool Task Force.
1. How did you discover JFN and what made you want to be a connector?
I first learned about JFN when my oldest son, who is now finishing kindergarten, first enrolled at the preschool at Temple Shir Tikva. The mom of one of his classmates was actually the JFN Connector for our area at the time, and I remember her telling me about her role – about her being able to focus on identifying and building relationships with young Jewish families – and I remember thinking that I would love to do that, too! Little did I know that I'd have the opportunity to fill that role just a few years down the road. I'm so excited to be the newest member of the JFN Connector team!
2. You have had some interesting and diverse careers over the past 10 years, from public interest attorney to higher ed administrator and professor to career advisor. What has been the common thread among those positions and how will it help you in the JFN Connector position?
While my career path isn't exactly linear, there's definitely a common thread, and that's making connections with and among people. I always joke that I'm a professional "networker"! I love getting to know people, figuring out what we have in common, and building relationships with them – and I love finding ways to facilitate relationships among other people, too. The fact that the job title literally contains the word "connector" is pretty perfect!
3. You are in an interfaith marriage. How do you balance holidays, religious education, and the extended family?
My husband was not raised Jewish, but he and I are both active in the Jewishcommunity and in our synagogue. We are raising our children Jewish and have aJewish home, but we also talk to our kids about the fact that we have close familymembers who aren't Jewish and who celebrate holidays that are not necessarily the same as the holidays that we celebrate in our house. It's interesting – the fact that decisions about religion weren't a given going into our marriage has meant that we have had to be deliberate about the choices that we make. In some ways, I think that prompts me to be even more mindful about what it means for us to build a Jewish home than I might have been if I had married someone who was raised Jewish. Everything we do comes about through conversation and an active decision-making process. We're also incredibly fortunate to have very supportive and engaged extended family.
4. Why do you feel there's a desire among Jewish parents to connect with each other and have their children connect?
I think it's hugely important to educate children about different traditions, belief systems and cultures, but I also think sometimes it's comforting to be around people who understand why you can or can't eat a particular food, without your having to explain why. Being able to be around other families who adhere to the same values and celebrate the same traditions as your own provides support not only to parents, but also to kids. It's like having an extended family that can help you navigate these incredibly formative years!