I take a minimum of 40 hours Continuing Professional Education (CPE) every year to stay current and maintain my CPA license in New York State, even though I haven’t done very much with that license in a long time. I worked too hard to earn the license, and if things don’t work out for me in the Jewish non-profit world, accounting is a good profession to fall back on.
CPE in the Jewish world is a little different. Not only do we need to stay current on threats and opportunities, but it is important for us to mingle with colleagues and hear how others tackle the critical issues. Our large gatherings foster education, encourage collaboration, and give us opportunities to copy programs that have been successful in other communities. For example, I just learned about a Yom Ha’atzmaut idea from the Memphis federation that we might try this year, and I have presented to my colleagues on our successful Teen Mission program.
Every year Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) sponsors a General Assembly (GA). The GA is for Federation staff, Federation lay-leaders, Federation donors, and everyone else who cares about Judaism and the Jewish people. Thousands of our closest friends from around the world gather for three days of learning, sharing, and flag waving. In 2018, we gathered in Israel. Last year we enjoyed D.C. This year we will not be in Chicago, but we will be next year if it’s safe to do so, and in 2023, hopefully we will be back in Israel.
This year, thanks to COVID, we have a tremendous opportunity—the GA (October 25-27) will be virtual, free, and everyone is welcome. Here is a link to review the programming and register.
Anecdotally, I hear of bitter arguments between finance departments and personnel departments about CPE. Finance argues, “What if we spend money to train employees, and they quit on us?” to which HR retorts, “But wouldn’t it be worse if we don’t train our employees and they stay?”
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