JQ Welcomes New Development Associate to Professional Team, David Kazdan

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JQ Welcomes New Development Associate to Professional Team, David Kazdan

JQ International’s new Development Associate, David Kazan has always had his hand in non-profit work, even at a very early age. “Working for non-profits is sort of a family thing,” said David, “My mother worked as a nurse at the LA free clinic for 30 years, and seeing the work that she did with that community really made an impact on me personally. I was raised with the mentality that this was what you did. When I would get in trouble as a child, instead of being grounded, I had to go work at a food bank. Over time I internalized the value of service work.”

David’s extensive educational background is a reflection of not only his dedication to non-profit work but his passion for Jewish organizations and Israel studies. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Modern Jewish and Israel Studies from California State University, Chico, he went on to receive his master’s degree in Israel and Zionist Studies from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. While in graduate school David worked as an educational tour guide at the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute, where he would take donors and students to the grave site and dessert home of Israel’s first Prime Minister. “Being a tour guide and educator was part of my graduate work,” David said, “They saw that I was personable, great with people, and had a passion for talking about Zionism and the growth of Israel’s Southern periphery.”

Jewish non-profit work has been a pillar in shaping who David is today. “I have been in and out of the Jewish non-profit world for over a decade,” said David, “It has always been the cornerstone of all my professional life.” His role at JQ International plays a significant part in helping the organization grow and thrive as one of the leading LGBTQ Jewish communities in Los Angeles. Acquisition of grants, donor cultivation and stewardship, and stewardship of the board of governors, are just some of the duties David is responsible for and he is looking forward to his future at JQ and making a difference in the Jewish LGBTQ community. “I see the need for the intersection between the Jewish and LGBTQ communities,” said David, “Growing up, there was not a safe space for LGBTQ and Jewish identities to co-exist, and so the work JQ does feels incredibly validating. I feel privileged to help further our mission of helping others discover that queer Jews don’t have to make a choice between identities, we are a community so come as you are.”

Erin Faith Wilson
JQ International Contributing Writer

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