Jewish Women’s Leadership Conference

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By Bethany Hooper

The Jewish Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by Maryland Hillel focuses on women in the workforce, teaching women new skills and connecting with women in businesses around the area, according to Corinne Bernstein, the engagement associate at Maryland Hillel.

Bernstein, who was credited for being the brainchild of this event, got the idea from a Jewish feminist who taught women how to negotiate their own wages. She said that the event teaches women to speak for themselves and learn something about their potential careers.

“We have a lot of exciting feedback so far,” Bernstein said. “These topics fall into, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ and gives women confidence and financial literacy.”

Maryland Hillel is extending an invitation to other Hillel campus communities throughout Maryland and other surrounding areas, such as Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to Maiya Chard-Yaron, director of educational engagement.

“I think when I was a student I wish I had this opportunity,” Chard-Yaron said. “It is exciting to bring people together…and putting a Jewish lens on it.”

Maryland Hillel has created a student task force to organize the upcoming event, according to Bernstein. This group will be in charge of filling the rooms, facilitating check-in, and marketing materials for the event.

“We have a committee with different representation,” Bernstein said. “Amajority are from Maryland, but there are people from other areas that are represented.”

Bernstein said that the committee would be calling and Skyping to other committee members from other areas to help study the vision of the event and put the session together. Bernstein and Chard-Yaron will be the two leading the conference.

Committee member Emily Schreck, a sophomore family science major, is enthusiastic about the upcoming event.

“When I came to college, I knew I wanted to be involved in Jewish life on campus. I got involved with Hillel and now I am an intern [for them],” Schreck said. “When Corinne came up to me about the conference, I absolutely loved it.”

Schreck, who also has a women’s studies certificate, said this conference would help educate, empower and network women from the Jewish community. Although she is confident that the event will be a success, Schreck is still nervous about the planning process.

“This is the first time I have been a part of [a conference committee]. I will play it by ear,” Schreck said. “I am only a part of the team, but I am exciting to see what happens. Corinne has a lot of great ideas and I am excited to see who comes out [to the conference].”

The Leadership Conference will include an opening speaker, skill-building panels, a networking lunch, and a Jewish learning session, according to Bernstein.

The event is not limited to the day, however. Bernstein said the event will be a weekend long event, starting Feb. 21 with a Global Women’s Shabbat, and ending with the conference.

The Jewish Women’s Leadership Conference will be held at Maryland Hillel’s Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Center for Jewish Life.

“I am really excited,” Bernstein said. “This is something I care about and it drives me here at [Maryland] Hillel.”

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