When your passion becomes your profession

Well, it finally happened – government shutdown be damned!

Homeland Security has approved my work visa and I am now officially a full time employee of Ramah Darom. My transition from corporate-type to charitable-type is complete. And you know it’s real because I’ve actually updated my LinkedIn and Twitter bio (not gonna lie – I’m pretty pleased with myself for finding a way to connect my disparate careers):

screen shot 2019-01-04 at 11.16.01 pm

So why did I make the move to the non profit world – and in Atlanta, no less? Is it a soft spot for the south? A bias for bare-boned budgets? A lifelong longing to listen to lay leaders? An affection for alliteration that could only be satisfied with a blog post about a new job?


The truth is that after more than 25 years in the working world, I now have an incredible opportunity to combine my passion and my profession.

It’s not that I don’t have a love for the entertainment industry. Quite the opposite; I  dreamed of a career in media from the time I was knee high to a grasshopper. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to pursue that passion in two countries, for several great companies and with countless high profile brands.

But I also really, really love being Jewish.dsc_2944

I’ve always been fiercely proud of my heritage and feel a deep responsibility to ensure our many amazing (and sometimes unusual – see the picture to the right) traditions are passed along to the next generation. Along with my wife Beth, we’ve worked hard to instill that same strong sense of Jewish pride in our three kids. Many families are more observant than us, but I do think we’ve succeeded in creating a home with Jewish values at its core and where we all live meaningful Jewish lives.

One of the most important contributors to our kids’ Jewish identities – and, by extension, ours – is the many months they’ve each spent on Ramah programs: various summer camps, high school semesters in Israel, family Passovers, trips to historic Jewish sites in Poland, leadership training programs…the list goes on. This organization excels at creating exceptional Jewish experiences.

In my new job as CEO of Ramah Darom, I have the chance to spend my days making sure we instill that same sense of pride in the thousands of Jewish children, teens and img_9574.jpgfamilies we serve every year at our gorgeous facility in the North Georgia mountains. At its core, Ramah is all about ensuring joyful Judaism – and there’s nothing more meaningful than seeing parents and their kids laughing and singing together during an amazing Shabbat experience at one of our family retreats, or hearing a summer camper describe Ramah Darom as their “happy place”

This is, as they say, my second career. And I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.

In an upcoming post, I’ll recap some of the ways I’m finding working for a small non profit is different – and yet, not so different – from working for a billion dollar corporation. As I used to say in my old job: stay tuned!


BY THE WAY – I know it makes NO SENSE for my Twitter handle to still be @MediaMktgGuy. But if I change my handle I will lose my lovely blue “verified” dot! I’ve tried reaching out to the Verification account at Twitter but it’s no longer being monitored, so any advice/help most appreciated!


About MediaMktgGuy

CEO at Ramah Darom in Georgia. I spend a lot of time on airplanes - visiting Jewish communities across the southeast, and flying to Toronto to be with my family. Former CMO at Comedy Central; did the weekly Toronto-NYC-Toronto commute for six years. Also spent time at Canwest, Alliance Atlantis, CHUM. Montreal native/St. Viateur bagel lover. Way better on Twitter @MediaMktGuy.
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