For Marc Prine, building a vibrant Jewish community within Philadelphia is paramount.
As the chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Committee for Jewish Life and Learning, also known as CJLL, Prine works with professional staff to recognize and award grants to institutions, organizations and initiatives focused on formal and informal Jewish educational experiences.
“Without Jewish life and learning, we are just a large Jewish population in a city — not a Jewish community,” said Prine, who is also on the Board of Trustees and serves as chair emeritus on the NextGen Board. “There is so much heart and passion within our community, so many incredible programs that help shape our culture — we need to invest more in this community.”
For Prine, it was this very sentiment of Jewish community and the resources it offered that helped mold his childhood and paved the way for the leader he is today.
“I have vivid memories of going to Purim celebrations as a child, and I remember dancing with a Torah down Broad Street on Simchat Torah while I was in college,” reminisced Prine.
Now a father of two daughters, the founder and industrial/organizational psychologist at MIP Consulting wants to ensure that all children who want it, have access to opportunities that help foster and develop their Jewish identities.
“I want the Jewish children of our region to grow up in a vibrant community where they learn our traditions, celebrate our holidays and see our culture for everything it has to offer,” shared Prine, who finds joy in seeing his daughters light the Shabbat candles and attend Mini Minyan at Adath Israel.
The Jewish Federation spoke with Prine to take a deeper dive into his leadership journey and his passion for advocating for Jewish life in the Greater Philadelphia region:
What are you hoping to accomplish as chair of the Committee for Jewish Life and Learning in the coming year?
This year is all about preparing for the next grant cycle that is kicking off next fall. This means selecting top-priority areas, and understanding what opportunities we have moving forward. My favorite part of the year has been learning about some of the innovative things happening in the Jewish world. As the chair of the CJLL, we look to answer what programs are happening in other cities that we can bring to Philadelphia and what organizations and programs are here in our backyard that might flourish with some investment. I believe that the innovative piece of our work is the ability to continue building the most dynamic community possible.
February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. How is the Jewish Federation working to make Jewish spaces more welcoming and accessible?
The Jewish Federation has done a lot of work to ensure our community is welcoming and accessible to every Jew who wants to be an active member of our community. Jewish Learning Venture’s Whole Community Inclusion, supported by the Jewish Federation, is providing unparalleled programming for families. Other Jewish Federation-supported organizations and programs, such as jkidphilly, other aspects of JLV, synagogues and more, are provided with resources to help make their programming more welcoming and engaging for members of our community. Lastly, while not directly related to the CJLL, the Jewish Federation Real Estate grants have provided organizations with funding to help make our community spaces more physically accessible.
What does the Jewish Federation mean for you and your family since you started getting involved?
The Jewish Federation has been a huge part of my life. I came to the Jewish Federation and was originally solicited to participate in NextGen’s Leadership Development Program by Sarah Solomon, now the Jewish Federation’s Chief Development Officer. I was in graduate school at the time and was interested in meeting new people and getting involved in the community. Through that experience, I made some very good friends – who happened to introduce me to my wife Amanda. Through this organization, I have gotten to travel to multiple states and Israel, met so many good friends, and made an impact with my family.
What is an organization, program or cause that the Jewish Federation supports that personally resonates with you?
There are so many. I love seeing how excited my daughters get when PJ Library books come every month. I like the books even after being asked to read them for the 30,000th time. While I did not go to a Jewish overnight camp, the data shows how effective these programs are at building Jewish identity. Makom Community is an incredible gem of Jewish education in our community. I am an alumni of the Wexner Heritage Program and have been lucky to go through such an intensive learning experience.
Why do you give to the Jewish Federation?
I don’t give to the Jewish Federation, I invest in our Jewish community. I know that without our participation (no matter how big or how small) our community cannot achieve its full potential. I care deeply about Jewish continuity and it’s our responsibility to invest in that community to grow.
What are three things people may not know about you?
While I have been in Philadelphia since 2004, I will never give up my love for the Yankees. I eat ice cream almost every night. As long as there’s no snow on the ground, you can probably find me playing golf.
To learn more about the Jewish Federation’s impact on Jewish life and learning and more, visit jewishphilly.org/our-impact.