Posted by Ira Schor

created at: 2014-05-12Having recently returned from the annual AJFCA (Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies) conference, I have a renewed awareness of the value of gathering with one’s colleagues from other agencies. In the short space of several days, we became a community of professionals learning from one another and sharing our strikingly similar challenges in our efforts to make our world a better place. With our differing logos and acronyms, our varying sizes and geographic locations, it was the commonality of our purpose and the good intent of our missions and services that was most inspiring.

Montreal, bi-lingual, cosmopolitan, and charming, was a terrific setting in which to meet. Stunningly beautiful, bordered by Mont Royal to the north and the St. Lawrence to the south, Montreal is populated by grand, impressive, and intricate 19th century public buildings. This walkable city provided the occasional break from the rich assortment of plenaries and workshops.

I was accompanied by our CEO, Rimma Zelfand and Marjie Sokoll, Director of Jewish Healing Connections. For Rimma, it was a return to a beloved city to which she emigrated from St. Petersburg, Russia. For Marjie, it was the opportunity to share her expertise and her gift in bringing spirituality to the workplace and to her work with older adults. Marjie’s workshop, titled “Standing on Sacred Ground: Cultivating Spirituality in our Agencies,” was hugely well received, prompting many to seek her guidance on bringing healing circles to their agencies.

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