By Cyndy Bloom, HR & Facilities Manager
What sort of people work at UJIA? We have a very varied workforce from university leavers, people straight from working within youth movements, professionals wanting their work to be more meaningful, people juggling young families and career, ages range from 22 to 70. UJIA attracts great loyalty, some of us have worked here for many years and we have positions going that fit either recent university graduates, or experienced fundraisers and executives.
What’s the culture like at UJIA? Share how the organisation has changed over the years when it comes to company culture. It’s always been very warm whilst maintaining its professionalism. I believe the organisation has changed over the years I have been here but an organisation should change to remain relevant. I personally have worked with two CEOs at UJIA – both amazing to work for but in very different ways. Now I am working with Natie Shevel who runs our Israel office but is working with us in the UK two weeks out of four as interim CEO until we appoint a new one. His energy levels are astounding as he is doing two jobs at the moment. For sure life is never dull in UJIA! Office-wise, when I arrived we were at an office in Camden Town. We’ve since moved to Kentish Town.
Why, in your opinion, is it important for people to want to work at UJIA? Depending on each different role, it’s important to understand and want to support what we do through our vision and our mission. It is only with the best staff on board that we will become the best we can be. We don’t just take anyone and if we see talent, we give it a chance and we try and foster it as best we can.
Why do you love working at UJIA? The people and the work! This is the sort of place where people ask you how your holiday was when you come back. Also, each time someone comes back from holiday they bring chocolates into the office…
Describe a couple of situations where UJIA has acted as a good career stepping stone for certain past staff. People who have worked here in starter positions have risen to Director roles within the organisation and CEO roles outside of the organisation. To name a few: Shoshana Copeland went from here to the Holocaust Educational Trust to become their Fundraising Director. Katie Axelrod-Harash left to become Head of Fundraising for JVN and Nicky Goldman is now Chief Executive of JVN. Joel Gleicher went on to become a Major Gifts Fundraiser for Cancer UK. Raymond Simonson worked here in the Education team and is now Chief Executive of JW3. Cassie Matus is now Executive Director at March of the Living UK… and the list goes on!
Thoughts. I’ve been at UJIA almost 10 years. UJIA is a very individual organisation with a very caring culture but at the same time very professional. It is very easy, once working here, to take this for granted. Most people who leave say they did not appreciate how great it was, compared to the rest of the ‘outside world’ until they had gone! My advice to anyone is take a chance, you never know where a role will take you.