Looking for a career with meaning?

Read Jewish Lessons on Meaningful Work

Finding a job that aligns with your values isn’t easy. What can Judaism teach us about finding a job where you can make a difference? Rabbi Dan Judson of Hebrew College has some advice.

Everything I learned about work I learned from a probation officer. It wasn’t my probation officer, thank goodness – it was a probation officer in my congregation where I served as a rabbi. One Shabbat evening I saw the probation officer and asked her how work was going, and she said she had been laid off. I asked her how she was spending her time, and she said she was going to work. This was a confusing answer because she had just told me her job had been eliminated.

“Sorry, I thought you said you were laid off three weeks ago. You mean they gave you a few weeks notice to close out your job?” I asked. “No, they told me they were going to stop paying me immediately a few weeks ago,” she said. “Okay, so I was asking what you did last week given you don’t have a job.” “Yeah,” she said somewhat sheepishly, “I kind of went to work last week even though they weren’t paying me.”

She could tell from my look of incredulity that I needed more explanation…


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