It is a pleasure for us to present this report of our work from the past year to you. Our lay leaders, volunteers, and staff have made efforts to re-orient our work to reflect the 10 Bold Statements of the Our RA Vision Plan.
Our work is focused on three major areas outlined in the report, and we are making progress in each of them. Just a few examples from our work include our 2019 Convention in Montreal and 20/20 Judaism, our collaborative convention with USCJ, a record-breaking Interview Week, the initiation of our Zera'im project, and our gun violence campaign in the United States, with many more in the rest of our report.
None of what you will read about in this report would be possible without the hundreds of lay leaders and volunteers who direct and carry out every aspect of our work. As I, Debra, prepare to step down as president this March, and as we prepare to welcome Stewart Vogel as our incoming president, we are so grateful to them, to our officers, our Administrative and Executive Committees, chairs and members of committees, volunteer mentors and guides, and so many others who make it all possible. And most of all, we thank our members who provide support in every way.
Our own professional staff is exceptional, even as it continues to evolve to meet our strategic goals. We are so thrilled that over this past year we have brought on a new administrative assistant, Christine Aucoin; hired our new Director of Publications, Katharine Baker; promoted Emily Hendel to serve in her new role as Director of Career Services; and have been blessed by Ashira Konigsburg's new role as our Chief Operating Officer. Most of all, we express tremendous gratitude to Elliot Schoenberg who has served us for over 30 years. We wish him a wonderful sabbatical, and look forward to his continued wisdom and contributions to Our RA.
In the coming year, we will continue restructuring and hiring staff, re-organizing our budget, increasing capacity to involve volunteers in committees, working groups, mentorships, and more. We will accelerate the implementation of the Our RA vision, strengthening our ability to support and connect colleagues, increasing the number and depth of our partnerships, developing new forms of Torah learning and professional skills development, promoting transparency, moving towards greater financial sustainability, and much more.
Since I, Jacob, began my new role in July, I have spoken to our members in many parts of the world. I am inspired every single day by our collective work, bringing our Torah to more people, in more places, in more ways. Our RA will continue to grow and improve so that we can support one another personally and professionally.
Jacob Blumenthal Debra Newman Kamin
Chief Executive President