OneJustice Blog

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Category Archives: Trainings for Nonprofit Legal Organizations

Fundraising experts to help you reach your goals!

Healthy Nonprofits: Top 10 Experts to learn from as you prepare for your fall fundraising season.

The busiest season for development professionals in the nonprofit world has just started! As a support center for over 100 legal services organizations in the state, we care about the successes of our fellow legal nonprofits. With this in mind, our Healthy Nonprofits Program put together a list of folks you should follow to boost your year-end campaigns. Check out this diverse and amazing group of people, and be sure to subscribe to their newsletters!

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1. Claire Axelrad has helped nonprofits implement innovative fundraising and marketing strategies that advance the mission, vision, and values of causes addressing society’s most pressing problems. She also teaches a variety of topics such as development/marketing integration, nonprofit management, strategic planning, major gift stewardship, and annual giving donor identification and cultivation.

2. Pamela Grow helps small nonprofits develop sustainable funding through donor-centered fundraising. She is also the author of Five Days to Foundation Grants, the first online grant-writing guide, and the creator of Simple Development Systems, an interactive ebook written exclusively for the overwhelmed fundraiser in the one-person marketing and development shop.

3. Mission Minded is a branding firm that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations and foundations. They provide help with honing an organization’s brand, strategically crafting messages, and creating campaigns, websites, and printed materials that are easy to understand and that move people to action.

4. Tom Ahern is considered one of the world’s top authorities on raising more money with more donor-centered communications. He is an award-winning copywriter and journalist and author of five well-received books on the topic.

5. Kivi Leroux Miller teaches webinars and workshops several times a month and writes a top-ranked blog on nonprofit communications at Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com. She is also the award-winning author of two books, “The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause” and “Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money.”

6. Chris Davenport creates fun weekly videos to help nonprofits raise money, steward donors, and inspire board members. Each week, he takes interviews with Development Directors, Executive Directors, Board Members, Donors, etc., and turns them into short videos on how fundraising professionals overcome particular problems every Monday morning!

7. Shannon Doolittle is a fundraising and donor happiness coach. She helps nonprofits create and improve their event fundraising programs. In her trainings, she shares the know-how nonprofits need to skyrocket their fundraising results and donor retention rates.

8. Gail Perry provides a number of innovative strategies for getting Boards energized and involved with the fundraising process. You can read her weekly blog at FiredUpFundraising.com, and also find her articles at Nonprofit PRO (formerly FundRaising Success), Guidestar, and Capital Campaign Magic.

9. Joan Garry works with nonprofit leaders assisting with crisis management, executive coaching, and the building of strong management teams to support the work of the CEO. She also teaches nonprofit media strategy as a professor at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post.

10. Tony Martignetti is the creator and host of the Nonprofit Radio and hosts 50 shows a year, picking the brains of authors, consultants and thought leaders to help small- and mid-size nonprofit organizations.

Avoiding ethical pitfalls in our sector

Toby Rothschild, a Board member and pro bono Of Counsel to OneJustice, shares valuable insight all nonprofit leaders should know.

Toby is a longtime partner in OneJustice’s efforts to strengthen the civil legal aid system and has been a member of the OneJustice board since 2000. He provides ethics trainings to our network organizations throughout the state. We asked Toby to tell us about his path to becoming an Ethics trainer in the legal services sector.

Please join us in welcoming Toby!


[Photo: Toby Rothschild, Of Counsel to OneJustice.]

Toby Rothschild, Of Counsel to OneJustice.

Thank you for joining us, Toby! Tell us what started your interest in legal ethics?

Shortly after I became Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach, I was faced with an ethical conflict. We were representing a client who was attempting to stop the demolition of some low income housing by the city. The president of my Board of Directors raised questions about the client’s eligibility and asked me to show him the intake information. I refused, and told him that I had verified that the client was eligible, and that he had not consented to sharing the information with the board. To avoid a standoff, we agreed to send a joint letter to the Ethics Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar and be bound by their decision. The Committee issued an opinion that made clear that the board was not entitled to confidential client information.

I maintained an interest in legal ethics after that, occasionally doing training for my staff and for other legal services attorneys. When LAFLB and LAFLA merged, I became General Counsel of LAFLA, and ethics advice and training became a major part of my job. I began offering monthly ethics training for LAFLA advocates, and soon began inviting all of the other LA area advocates to attend as well. In addition, I provided counselling on ethics issues for LAFLA and other advocates throughout the state.

When I retired from LAFLA about a year ago, I was looking for a way to continue to use the knowledge I had developed to assist legal services advocates and programs. I talked to OneJustice’s CEO Julia Wilson and we agreed that it would be useful to offer the training and consulting I had been doing through LAFLA as part of OneJustice’s programs.

What are the general topics you cover?

In some ways, ethics in legal services programs is no different than for any other lawyers. The same rules apply. On the other hand, the kinds of ethical issues that arise are often different. Legal services lawyers seldom face ethical problems with how to collect their fees, or how to sell their practice (for example, who would want to buy it?). The two primary ethics issues that do arise, conflicts of interest and confidentiality, come up in different contexts. So the training focuses on the particular issues like these that arise in a legal services setting.

In these trainings, we talk about the unique issues of representing nonprofit organizations, withdrawal from representation, whether you can give a client money for a meal or bus fare, and communication with clients, among other issues. There are many issues that arise in situations where the program is representing multiple clients in the same case. It might be several tenants suing a landlord for lack of maintenance, or several employees suing their employer for wage theft. There are several disclosures that have to be made to the clients in such cases to get their consent to continue representing all of them.

And how do organizations benefit from Ethics trainings and consulting?

Every lawyer needs to keep up to date with their ethics training. First, it is important to understand the rules of the road, so you can avoid ethical pitfalls. Second, ethical conundrums arise in every practice, and it very useful to have a place to go to get guidance on how to address the complexities of the rules and cases. And it is useful to have someone outside the organization to consult with, as there are some circumstances where consulting only with your colleagues can cause ethical problems by itself.

And third, every lawyer is required to obtain a number of hours of Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) on a regular basis. Several of these hours must be in legal ethics. It is much better to obtain the MCLE ethics hours in programs that focus on the unique needs of legal services attorneys. And California law requires paralegals to obtain regular ethics training as well, so we provide the training for paralegals. Particularly for confidentiality, we often include the entire staff, as it is critical for everyone to understand the obligations of a lawyer, and all who work for or with the lawyer, to “maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client.”

Thank you so much, Toby, for your guidance and leadership!


About Toby Rothschild: He recently retired after serving as the General Counsel of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) for 13 years. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach (LAFLB) for 28 years and Interim Executive Director of LAFLA. He graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1969, and has worked at legal aid programs since graduation. He has been the president of the Long Beach Bar Association and was Vice Chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice. Toby has served as a member of the State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and as Chair of the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar. He also was liaison on access to justice issues to the first commission which drafted the proposed new California Rules of Professional Responsibility, and is a member of the newly appointed Rule Revision Commission. He currently serves as a member of the State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission and he’s been a member of the OneJustice board since 2000. He currently serves as pro bono Of Counsel to OneJustice.

Meet our very own financial guru

A chat with Executive Fellowship faculty, Elizabeth Schaffer.

We invited Elizabeth Schaffer—a nonprofit leader, consultant, trainer, and author—to tell us about herself and her work with the OneJustice Executive Fellowship.

Elizabeth is a longtime faculty of the Executive Fellowship. She coaches nonprofit leaders in the process of improving the quality of their organizations’ financial data and analysis, and also assists in enhancing organizations’ decision-making abilities. She is the co-author of Financial Leadership for Nonprofit Executives: Guiding Your Organization to Long Term Success (Fieldstone Alliance Press), a book that we use in our program, and an absolutely essential resource for all nonprofit leaders.

Please join us in welcoming Elizabeth!

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[PHOTO: Elizabeth Schaffer, CFO at the Global Fund for Women and Executive Fellowship faculty.]

Elizabeth Schaffer, Chief Financial & Operating Officer at the Global Fund for Women and faculty of the Executive Fellowship.

Thank you for joining us, Elizabeth! Tell us a little more about yourself and what you do.

I am currently the Chief Financial & Operating Officer of the Global Fund for Women – the largest foundation exclusively funding international women’s rights organizations. I have been involved with nonprofit financial management for over 20 years, as a finance director, consultant, trainer, and author.

We are so happy to have you as an Executive Fellowship faculty. Tell us why you are involved in the Fellowship program.

The fellows cohort is consistently smart, dedicated, and engaged.

I especially love teaching in the program because so many folks introduce themselves by saying: ‘I’m not good at finance,” and then go on to really, really understand the content – and bring it back to their organizations. Without question, my best student is Julia!

As a nonprofit financial management coach, what is your top advice to nonprofits hoping to develop and strengthen their financial leadership?

Trust your instinct, not necessarily the numbers on the paper. If what you have at hand does not seem correct, challenge it!

Amazing advice! Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for your guidance and leadership teachings! 

Announcing the 2015-2016 Executive Fellows!

Empowering leaders to transform the legal services sector.

As schools get ready for the school year, OneJustice is getting ready for the newest class of Executive Fellows. We invited Director of the Healthy Nonprofits Program, Kim Irish, to give us a sneak peak into this year’s class and what is ahead.

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Guest Blogger: Kim Irish, OneJustice Healthy Nonprofits Program Director

It hardly seems possible, but in September, OneJustice will welcome its 6th class of Executive Fellows! The 2015-2016 cohort promises to be outstanding, with 20 participants hailing from a wide variety of organizations located in cities like San Diego, San Bernardino, East Palo Alto, Fresno, and Berkeley. We’re excited to have representatives from 18 organizations, including 5 organizations who are joining us for the very first time.

[Photo: 2014-15 Cohort during one of their many Executive Fellowship classes, which include becoming a great communicator, human resources, financial context and ratios, and budgeting and change management.]

2014-15 Cohort during one of their many Executive Fellowship classes, which include becoming a great communicator, human resources, financial context and ratios, budgeting, and change management.

This year’s curriculum is divided into three core modules, starting with “You As A Leader,” which focuses on Fellows’ personal leadership and communication styles, as well as their relationship with their organization’s board of directors. Module Two – or “Managing Resources” – teaches Fellows how to manage and leverage human and financial resources, including the always-important and sometimes-confusing skill of budgeting.

The third and final module, “Creating Change,” encourages Fellows to take a broader view than their everyday work and think about how they can make changes in their organizations and even the broader legal services or nonprofit sector. A special learning opportunity called the capstone project is woven throughout the fellowship year. Fellows each choose an issue they are grappling with at their organizations and work to define the problem, gather data, research potential solutions, and present a memo and oral presentation to end the fellowship year in June. Though Fellows have reported it can be hairy at times to balance the capstone work with the everyday demands of their jobs, some claim it is the most beneficial part of the Fellowship experience.

As I begin directing the 2015-2016 Fellowship Program, I know I will reflect on my experience as a Fellow in the most recent class. Understanding what it’s like to go through the learning, camaraderie, and professional skills development that takes place during the Fellowship will hopefully help me to provide support that current Fellows may need as they embark on this new adventure.

Welcome new Executive Fellows!

The OneJustice Executive Fellowship is a 10-month comprehensive program that brings legal aid leaders new business and leadership skills.

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As Director of OneJustice’s Healthy Nonprofits Program, Kim Irish is responsible for directing the Executive Fellowship and developing continuing education programs for Alumni of the Executive Fellowship Program, including in-person trainings and other support. She also oversees OneJustice’s consulting work and provides training, resources, and coaching to the Board of Directors and Executives of legal services nonprofits on governance, fundraising, and strategic planning.

Have you met this consultant, educator, and philanthropist?

Celebrate Martin Tannenbaum with us

For his incredible work in strengthening the legal services sector

Martin Tannenbaum, consultant, educator, and philanthropist, honoree of this year's Opening Doors to Justice eventEvery year, the OneJustice network gathers at our Opening Doors to Justice event to celebrate three individuals whose outstanding accomplishments have truly moved the needle on legal services, pro bono, and access to justice. Won’t you join us this year on:

Thursday, June 25th 

6-9 pm

Julia Morgan Ballroom (downtown SF)

*Tickets and auction items are now available

We are so pleased to be honoring Martin Tannenbaum – Consultant, Educator, Philanthropist, and a wonderful partner of OneJustice. Martin has been a leader in transforming the civil legal aid system through the development of OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship, which is now in its 5th year, and next month, will graduate the 100th Fellow. Please welcome our third honoree, Martin Tannenbaum!

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Martin, Opening Doors to Justice event is less than a month a way and we can’t wait to honor you on June 25th! Tell us – why are you involved with increasing access to justice?

Even though most people probably think I’m a privileged white male – which I guess, on some level, I am – I have a very different sense of myself. I grew up as a gay Jew in Utah – as a double-outsider. And add to that, my parents also grew up Jewish in Utah.  So I learned at an early age to love and respect those who didn’t fit in – which meant a wide range of people – the economically challenged, the foreigner, and the less-abled.

Also, since I had experienced the tyranny of the majority (both growing up and during some pretty ugly ballot initiatives), it was clear that the courts – not public opinion – were THE place for change and fairness. And so I was naturally drawn to legal organizations because they focus on the judicial system – and they welcomed me in.

Initially, my volunteering and philanthropy focused on LGBT rights. Given what we’ve accomplished in the last 30 years, it was clearly a wise investment. In California and several other states, I am now protected in the workplace and was even able to marry the man of my dreams, Alex Ingersoll. This was all unimaginable when I was in my 20’s.

And there are still many with justice still denied – not just many in the LGBT community, but also those without sufficient financial resources, health challenges or an unclear path to citizenship. The work must continue until every person secures equal justice under the law – it’s what this country was founded upon – it’s what we owe ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.

We couldn’t agree more! Martin, could you share with us how you became involved with OneJustice?

Over 7 years ago, I had the great good luck to meet Claire Solot and Julia Wilson. They had this idea about creating a program for leaders within the legal services sector – one that would provide these leaders with the knowledge, skills and support to enhance their work, stabilize and build their own organizations, and change the legal services sector.  (And I had the background and knowledge to develop the curriculum and guide the program in the early years.)

And so, we built a program together, the OneJustice Executive Fellowship, which next month will graduate its 100th fellow – all able and willing to create meaningful change – to serve more clients and provide better services and to build more sustainable organizations. I have had the distinct honor of meeting and working with each of these Fellows.  Nothing is more rewarding than seeing their growth and accomplishments.  What a gift!

Absolutely! What’s your favorite part of being a member of the OneJustice network?

I know this is hard to imagine, but there are still people – even friends and colleagues of mine – who don’t know about OneJustice and the incredible work that we do to create impactful nonprofits and to enhance the legal services sector. I love to explain our work and watch faces light up.  Most want to learn more, and get involved.  It’s such leveraged, important work.  I’m very proud to be part of the OneJustice family.

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About the OneJustice Executive Fellowship: OneJustice trains current executives and the next generation of nonprofit leaders through our management training program. OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship program is a 10-month comprehensive program that brings legal aid leaders new business skills.

A serial legal services entrepreneur

Join us as we celebrate Claire Solot

For her work advancing justice and bringing training to legal services leaders

Claire Solot, Managing Director of Bigglesworth Family Foundation, head shotEvery year, the OneJustice network gathers at our Opening Doors to Justice event to celebrate three individuals whose outstanding accomplishments have truly moved the needle on legal services, pro bono, and access to justice. Won’t you join us this year on:

Thursday, June 25th 

6-9 pm

Julia Morgan Ballroom (downtown SF)

*Tickets and auction items are now available

We are so excited to be honoring Claire Solot, Managing Director of Bigglesworth Family Foundation, this summer. In 2009, Claire approached OneJustice with the idea for a comprehensive nonprofit management training for legal services leaders, and the result of that conversation – the Executive Fellowship – is now in its 5th year and next month will graduate the 100th Fellow. Please welcome our first honoree, Claire Solot!

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Claire, we can’t wait to honor you on June 25th! Please tell us, why have you committed your time and energy to working on increasing access to justice? 

Twenty-five years ago as a law student extern in the Family Law Department of the San Francisco Superior Court, I had the opportunity to see first hand both the value of and need for civil legal services.  Following my career as a litigator, I joined the philanthropic sector in 2000.  While working on a “safety net” grants portfolio, I started to wonder why legal services were not regularly included in this category.  As a result in 2008, we launched our first legal services grants portfolio.  Working with these grantees for the past eight years, I am more convinced than ever that civil legal aid is a critical part of the solution to breaking the cycle of poverty.

From working on these issues, what is one particularly rewarding experience you have encountered? 

Bringing together the OneJustice Fellows Advisory Board in 2009 to start vetting the need for a training program for legal services leaders was an amazing experience.  In a matter of months, we were able to assemble a “dream team” of diverse leaders, which included: legal aid executive directors, law firm partners, pro bono coordinators, state bar representatives, a non-profit consultant and a funder.  In less than 9 months, we went from a mere concept to a fully operating program.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Executive Fellowship?

Every time I hear a Fellow share the value of the program, I get shivers.  It is amazing to know that by creating and supporting this program, we not only help these individuals in their roles, we help the organizations they work for and the communities they serve.  As we graduate our 100th Fellow, I know we have developed an important resource for the legal aid community. As we field requests from alumni, law students and out of state practitioners for more offerings, I know that the current Fellows program is just the first piece of this puzzle.

You really are building a powerful civil justice puzzle. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Perhaps I am a serial “non-profit program legal service entrepreneur,” as last fall I assembled a new team comprised of funders from a wide variety of sectors, including: community foundations, private foundations, law firms, crowd-source funders, government and individuals.  Together, we have launched the Bay Area Legal Services Funders Network.

Thank you, Claire, for your dedication to excellence, and your outstanding contributions to ensuring justice for those in need! We are honored to partner with you, and we are thrilled to be recognizing your achievements this summer! 

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About the OneJustice Executive Fellowship: OneJustice trains current executives and the next generation of nonprofit leaders through our management training program. OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship is a 10-month comprehensive program that brings legal aid leaders new business skills.

You are part of a network that makes the world more just

Bringing greater fairness to the world takes a network. . .
the OneJustice network.

OneJustice supports a network of 100+ nonprofit legal organizations, law firms, law schools and businesses.  Each year this network provides life-saving legal help to over 275,000 Californians facing legal barriers to basic life necessities and core civil rights.  You – like everyone in our network – are an essential part of the solution to the fact that millions of our neighbors suffer needlessly from solvable legal problems. 

In honor of the work that our network does, each month we’ll feature an interview with a different participant in the network. 

This month we interviewed Martin Tannenbaum, Program Director and Faculty of our Executive Fellows program and a generous investor in OneJustice’s work.

Martin, you’ve had a long history in the private sector. How does that experience impact your work with OneJustice?

Martin Tannenbaum, Executive Fellows Program Director, is a proud member of the OneJustice network.

For many years, I earned a living developing new businesses and services in healthcare and financial services.  I built a reputation as the person who could innovate and create change in some of the largest corporations in the U.S.  But it’s one thing to create change when you have the resources of a Merrill Lynch, quite another when you’re operating in the social services sector.  The opportunity seemed too great to resist for someone committed to change and innovation.

About 12 years ago, I was drafted by the Entrepreneurship and Strategy Department at Boston University’s School of Management to teach innovation and corporate entrepreneurship.  One of my colleagues, Andrew Wolk, a social entrepreneur, introduced me to the idea of cross-fertilizing the best of business theory and practice with the passion of the social services sector.  I helped him create curriculum for the Inner City Entrepreneur program – which introduced cutting edge business research and case studies to mostly minority business owners within Boston neighborhoods.  We engaged a wide range of faculty, developed peer-support networks and recruited mentors to assist these entrepreneurs in making critical changes in their business models and operations – and building their commitment to give back to their communities.  It worked to transform their businesses; a more refined model worked for middle managers at Jewish Family and Children’s Services; and now with the OneJustice Executive Fellowship Program, it has begun to change the approach and success of leaders within the legal services sector.

What gets you excited about working with OneJustice?

OneJustice is committed to changing the sector – which means operating more effectively in order to serve increasing numbers of clients in a less certain revenue environment.  By providing a range of training and support to legal services organizations, OneJustice is uniquely positioned to increase the effectiveness and reach of the many worthy and under-resourced organizations across the state of California.  Also, by advocating in Washington, OneJustice is a clear voice for the needs of the underserved.

You’ve worked in lot of industries and sectors. What do you think sets the legal services sector apart from other industries?

The force of law has the ability to change people’s lives in fundamental ways.  At its best, our courts can and should affirm the dignity and importance of each person in our society – and each person’s right to live fully and equally.  And a win for one person, can be leveraged to enhance the position of many.  I have seen the courts change the face of what it means to be female, African American, GLBT, and differently-abled.  The legal services sector drives this important work.

Executives of nonprofit legal organizations are to for-profit executives as Ginger Rogers was to Fred Astaire. They do all the same work – but backwards….and in heels!

How would you compare and contrast the challenges for legal services leaders versus business leaders?   

I’ve said this many times, and I’m not sure who deserves the attribution, but I think leading in this sector is a lot like being Ginger Rogers – you have to do everything that Fred Astaire does – but backwards and in heels.  And then Fred gets most of the accolades.  I greatly admire our legal services leaders.

What makes OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship different from other executive programs? 

There are a number of key differences.  While the Fellowship is focused on the legal services sector – cases and discussions are about real challenges and solutions within legal services organizations – the faculty are from outside the sector.  We need fresh ideas and the ability to borrow from private and social sector organizations that are thinking differently to meet growing needs.  Our faculty has extensive experience with both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  The program also challenges participants to make explicit links between what they learn and do.  Too much adult learning is about stimulating people for a day or two and then they go back to work and lack the know how or time to apply what they learned.  We make it clear that it’s not about piling on new ideas – but taking things off their plate to make room for real change.  Finally, the cost is a real differentiator.  Because our program is generously underwritten by the Marcled Foundation and people who believe in the need for change in our sector, participants pay less than 20% of what a program of this caliber costs elsewhere.

In addition to being a lead faculty for the Executive Fellowship program, you also personally support OneJustice.  Why do you make your own personal investment in OneJustice’s work?

I give where my support can have the greatest impact.  I know that because OneJustice creates stronger legal services organizations, each dollar I give can affect many more clients; can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of many organizations; can help speak with a strong voice to legislators and others who control the purse strings.  I am also impressed with the way OneJustice “does business” – they have honed their revenue model, built a strong management team, and of course, I have the utmost respect for Julia Wilson, the Executive Director.  She brings unique vision and energy not just to OneJustice, but to the entire sector.

What’s your vision for the future of legal services?

The future of legal services is being written today.  Leaders are creating sustainable business models, rethinking delivery, meeting unmet needs, communicating effectively with those than can and should underwrite their important work.   And I want to continue to be a part of this future.

Why OneJustice? 

OneJustice does just what its name says – it seeks to create justice for everyone.  I was taught that restoring a shattered world  (“tikkun olam”) should be my main occupation.  I feel extremely lucky that I’ve found an organization that shares my vision.

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