Meet JLW: Rachel Dorsey, Director of Marketing

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What is your name, title and role at Jewish LearningWorks.  How long have you worked here?
I’m Rachel Dorsey, Director of Marketing.  I’ve worked with Jewish LearningWorks since 2013  - right when we changed from BJE to JLW.  I was originally hired as a consultant and have held several pieces of work in various configurations since then.

Where do you live and what do you like about your neighborhood/community
My family and I recently moved from Oakland to the North Bay. We’re still figuring out how our family fits in here… I’ll tell you what I miss about Oakland - every single day I would run into a friend on the street.  I stopped in my old neighborhood for 30 minutes last week on my way through and ran into a friend.  It doesn’t happen in our neighborhood yet, but I’m sure it will soon. 

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Tell us a little bit about your journey - what did you do before you joined our team?
I started my career in wine marketing, focusing on “new media” content production back when Youtube, Facebook and Twitter were brand new. After a life-changing Birthright trip, I reconnected with my roots, moving into the Jewish non profit world as director of Birthright Israel NEXT in the Bay Area.  When the national organization shifted their operating model, I was offered a job directing marketing for a local bank.  I simultaneously received offers to consult.  As my consulting portfolio grew, I left the bank and hung a shingle as a business growth consultant.  Jewish LearningWorks was my first BIG client.  My relationship with JLW has grown and deepened since then.

What excites you about your work
My colleagues are brilliant.  They are creative, they are engaging and they care so deeply about our purpose: to empower educators and parents to flourish as learners and as Jews.  I love crafting a compelling message that helps our constituents imagine the impact they can have on the kids in their lives as a result of participating.  I’m especially excited for our newest initiative, Voices for Good. Created by women, for women, Voices offers two tracks.  One for emerging and one for established leaders.  I would have really benefited from the Fellowship earlier in my career and I've already benefited from the very first East Bay Salon.  I'm looking forward to the next one.

Describe a time that you really felt like you/your work made a difference
I feel incredibly lucky to sit at the intersection of everything that goes on in this busy place. I feel like I’m making a difference every day.

 Our CEO with Rachel's Son, Levi

Our CEO with Rachel's Son, Levi

Describe a time that felt really challenging for you.
Since joining the team, I’ve become a mom and then became a mom of two.  Being a working parent is no joke.  Figuring out how to juggle it all and be present for it all… it’s a challenge. But in this job and in this place I’ve never had to choose who I’m going to be.  I get to bring all of me to the table.  Each facet is considered an asset, and my colleagues love my kids. That’s incredibly empowering.

Describe a time when you felt triumphant.
When we emerged from our strategic plan, our work was significantly streamlined.  We were concerned that the community might not understand our direction and might not support the choices we made.  I had the opportunity to work closely with our senior leadership to craft our communications around the transitions and when the positive kuddos rolled in…. triumph.

Tell us something that might surprise us.
In addition to my work with Jewish LearningWorks, I operate a successful business.  While I still consult for businesses and coach entrepreneurial woman, my main business (outside of JLW) is a full service film production company.  I’ve had the great fortune to produce and direct projects for Facebook, Mixbook and Whole Foods, among others.

What are you reading (and what would you like to share about it?)
It's incredibly challenging to find time to read, so I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately to maximize my drive time. BUT - my mom recommended Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.  

 Officiating a wedding and being referred to as Rabbi Rachel for the rest of the night... 

Officiating a wedding and being referred to as Rabbi Rachel for the rest of the night... 

What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for my can-do attitude and my head-down work ethic.
But more than that, I want to be remembered for chesed (loving kindness).

And the time people thought I was a Rabbi.  That was pretty great.