This month we are highlighting members of the Planning team of the upcoming Belonging Conference taking place on April 24 and 25.
Jeff Clark was born and raised in Buffalo and is a lifelong member of Temple Beth Zion. He went to Williamsville East, studied Political Science at RIT and recently completed an MBA from the University of Wyoming. He currently lives in Amherst with his wife Deb and son Ari, the light of their lives.
Since July 2019, Jeff has proudly served as Temple Beth Zion’s Executive Director where one of his goals is to reestablish TBZ’s role as a strong partner in Jewish Buffalo. Jeff is grateful to be a part of a thriving Jewish community and feels blessed to be working together towards common goals with the other agencies and leaders who have welcomed him and TBZ. He says, “I love being part of Jewish Buffalo and am enjoying becoming increasingly more involved.”
When asked about why he is on the Belonging conference planning team, he recalled the poem, “First they came…” by Martin Niemoller, which reminds us that we must not just work to allow people to be among us, but fight, with intention and purpose, so everyone in our community may feel safe and comfortable contributing to our rich culture. Jeff says, “I joined this committee to hold myself and my organization accountable to honor these principles.”
Jeff encourages all members of the community leadership to attend the upcoming Belonging Conference as we are taught, “We are all responsible for one another” and must challenge ourselves to live by the ideals of our faith and work to ensure all are welcome in our midst. He believes that this conference is a beautiful way to learn how to ensure our doors are truly open and our organizations are truly welcoming.
The Belonging Conference is designed to provoke and challenge our institutionally and culturally ingrained ideas around what a Jew looks like, who is a Jew, and who is accepted in the Jewish community, and what it looks like to be welcoming. If you are a volunteer or professional leader of a Jewish agency or congregation, or someone who wants to lead using Jewish values, please join us by registering: here.
For more information about the Belonging Conference, check out our website: https://buffalojewishfederation.org/belongingconference/