One person who I think has this combination covered (and in style) is Lillian F-H. And so this blog begins...
Lillian, Lisa, and Me at Kutz Camp (Photo Cred: Lisa)
First and foremost, I have to thank HUC-JIR and Melissa Z-S for bringing Lillian and I together in a ridiculous, incredible, and wonderful manner. As participants in the HUC-JIR Certificate in Jewish Education Specializing in Adolescents and Emerging Adults program, we had an incredible amount of time to problem-solve, program-write, and personally reflect on what it is that we were trying to accomplish in our respective personal and professional lives. While she's across the country from me now, I am lucky enough to know that we've still got that ability to get together at a moment's notice to bring us back to that place of mutual reflection and reaction.
Lillian is an incredible leader in her own right, knowing herself to her fullest extent and knowing when to speak, when to hold back, when to step-in and when to let others shine. She's always one of the first people to volunteer, to set an example, or to debate a point, but she's also known for her incredible compassion and listening ear as others tell her their about their fears, fallacies, and faiths. I was lucky in my program to often sit near her (and Facebook message her) during our sessions, to watch her creatively approach problems with an artistic eye, and to sing incredible (if not incorrect) lyrics in our shared hotel room.
It's no surprise to me that Lillian's doing well in her new job in MD, one of her (NOW MY) students at UO tells me all the time about how they've kept in touch...and at times, he even delivers messages from her to me. While I don't necessarily have the time always to keep in touch personally, every time I get a message from TJ (from Lillian!), I stop and smile, reminding myself that there's someone out there that gets it, that gets ME, and that I am very very lucky.
But...most importantly, I introduced her to Crumbs.
This picture is awesome. Photo Cred: ME.