Immediately upon graduation, Durham moved back to Memphis and where she worked at the Memphis Jewish Community Center as an assistant pre-school teacher, taught Sunday school at Temple Israel and volunteered as a BBYO advisor until recently accepting a position with the Levite Jewish Community Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Durham is currently the Birmingham Community Youth Group Coordinator/Marketing Associate.
“Living in Birmingham is very similar to living in Memphis. It is a southern town, with a southern pace. Things close very early here, like 8 PM, which is a change. But the young Jewish professional network here is large for a smaller town, and I have met some great people.”
When asked why she wanted to work there, Durham said, “I love the people here. It is a smaller community and my co-workers have really helped make this feel like home.”
Durham has now been in her position for a few months and maintains her passion for the work she is doing. “Over the summer, I served as the Assistant Camp Director at the Levite Jewish Community Center and I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue working in the Birmingham community and give back to the organizations that played a key role in fostering my Jewish identity and career.”
When asked if she feels like she is making a difference in her new job, Durham explained, “I think that this position has great potential for the community and I am so fortunate to be a part of this exciting adventure. Creating one community youth group filled with members of BBYO, NFTY, NCSY, and USY is incredible and I am excited to be in the front row watching the youth groups come together to develop innovative programs that engage teens socially, culturally, communally and intellectually and reflect the diversity of Jewish life.”
Although Durham enjoys her current job, she has plans to attend graduate school in a few years. She explained that her end goal is to attend Hebrew Union College and believes ardently that she will get there. For Durham, the best part of her job is “…being able to go to Israel in November to attend the General Assembly! I am really looking forward to that trip!” After four years at KU Hillel, including numerous internships and participating in KU Hillel’s Israel Leadership Mission trip, Durham shared the impact KU Hillel had on her.
“Learning how to engage Jewish adults was a vital thing I learned at KU Hillel. Without that experience, I would not understand how to successfully engage Jewish teens into the Jewish community. I would not have the right tools to successfully complete my job or create and engage the Birmingham Jewish Youth Group.”