Session Submission Summary

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Making the "Plan B" the New "Plan A": Strategies & Advice for Entering Careers Outside of the Tenure Track

Sun, December 16, 12:30 to 2:00pm, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Federal 2 Complex

Session Submission Type: Roundtable

Session Sponsor: AJS Women's Caucus


When practitioners of Jewish Studies, and scholars more generally, speak of professional work not directly linked to a tenure-track position, these career paths are often called "alternate academic" or "non academic" options. In this roundtable, we seek to both change the language around how we speak of careers that are not the increasingly rare tenure-track lines within colleges and universities, while also offering practical advice and guidance for how to best position yourself as a candidate for a variety of positions in fields, including secondary education, communal work, and digital humanities. We envision this roundtable as being helpful both to younger scholars thinking broadly about their careers and also to established scholars, particularly those advising graduate students, to help them better speak to and prepare their advisees for a variety of fulfilling professional career paths that still enable them to remain as scholars within Jewish Studies.

Questions will include:
- What should I do between now and graduation to think expansively about my career options? What skill sets and/or bodies of knowledge might be helpful to gain before I enter the job market? 
- How should I prioritize my career options in thinking about the work that I want to do, the skills that I have, and any outside commitments (family/health/hobby)? 
- What does it mean to bring content knowledge of Jewish Studies into career paths that have varying degrees of obvious connection between my studies and the demands of the job?
- What are short and long-term strategies I should consider when thinking about professional trajectories other than a TT career path?

Rachel Harris will moderate the roundtable, and the AJS Women’s Caucus will sponsor the session. Panelists include Shira Kohn (secular secondary education), Daniel Rosenberg (parochial secondary education), Tamar Marvin (online and contingent teaching), Katja Vehlow (left tenured position to explore other opportunities) and Emily Sigalow (public policy/communal work). As the AJS celebrates its 50th, we envision this panel as celebrating the education of its members and a forward-thinking platform to the multitude of fulfilling career paths a Jewish Studies degree can provide.

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