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2023 Annual Report

Letter from the Founder & Executive Director


As the final days of 2023 draw near, we at Career Up Now find ourselves in a moment of profound reflection. This year has been a mosaic of growth, challenges, and triumphs, each piece a testament to the resilience and dedication of our community. In the words of the great Jewish sage Rabbi Tarfon, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work, but you are not free to desist from it either.” This teaching from Pirkei Avot has been a guiding light for us, reminding us that while the challenges we face are ongoing, our commitment to addressing them remains unwavering.

This year, amidst a backdrop of increasing challenges for young Jewish adults, including antisemitism in workplaces and on campuses, our mission has taken on an even greater significance. Everyday, we strive to empower and inspire by guiding young professionals to weave Jewish values into their career journeys. Our work has been more than just professional development; it has been about fostering a sense of identity, belonging, and strength in the face of adversity.

As we have navigated these times, we’ve seen remarkable stories of courage and innovation. Our participants have both advanced in their careers and become beacons of Jewish values in action, embodying the principles of tikkun olam — repairing the world. They have shown us that the integration of Judaism and profession is not only possible but can be a powerful force for positive change.

As we look ahead to 2024, we first want to take a moment to fully reflect on the year that is closing in hopes that we can carry forward the lessons and successes of this year into the year ahead. After a year of such profound growth and learning, it feels important to share our learnings with you – our community.

We understand that it takes a village and are grateful that you are on this journey with us. As we move toward 2024 our ask is simple. We have been able to do all we have this past year through the generosity of so many people who stand with us and we thank you for your support and partnership! We ask that if you have been inspired by our work and haven’t yet made a contribution, or would like to do more, that you consider leaning in with us by making a year end donation. To join us, you can go online to to make a gift or respond to this email to request additional information.

We know that our work is far from finished, but every step we take is a stride towards a more just, wise, and connected world. Let us continue to be inspired by our rich heritage and the timeless wisdom of our tradition, using these as a foundation to build a future where every young Jewish professional can thrive and contribute to society in meaningful ways.

Thank you for being an integral part of this journey. Your support and involvement are what make our mission possible and we hope that the report below can serve to both inform and inspire. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any thoughts, questions or feedback you may have.

Here’s to a coming year filled with even greater achievements, deeper connections, and continued growth in both our professional lives and our Jewish journeys.

With warm regards and gratitude,

Bradley Caro Cook, Ed.D.

Founding Executive Director

Career Up Now

Our Year in Review

In addition to a year filled with a full calendar of events across our five core cities, Career Up Now undertook a strategic review of our organization, partnering with two consulting firms in order to assess our impact to date, collect deeper insights and identify needs and expectations for organizational growth. The process involved an in-depth examination of our mission, communication, branding, and internal processes, which were pivotal components in priming us for future expansion. Throughout this process, we gleaned important insights and feedback that have helped us in achieving the following things to date:

  • Refinement of Mission + Vision

  • Development of Conceptual Framework + Theory of Change

  • Introduction of KPI’s to Guide Program Development + Assess Success

This is in addition to our ongoing work to strengthen and expand our program model, bolster our communication channels, and ensure that we continue to provide meaningful, relevant opportunities for our community while optimizing for efficiency and increased transparency along the way

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower college students and young professionals to advance their careers while incorporating Jewish values into their lives, through innovative networking and education opportunities with Jewish industry leaders.

Our Vision

Our vision is to equip emerging professionals with the relationships and Jewish wisdom they need to confidently navigate their careers and lead values-based lives. We believe that Judaism offers a framework for meaningful, purposeful, and joyful living, and we aspire to make it accessible and relevant at every stage of life.


IF Jewish college students and young professionals engage positively with Judaism and our community as integral parts of their career paths, THEN they’ll have more opportunities to succeed in their careers making Jewish community, Jewish identity, and Judaism more relevant and meaningful at each stage of life.

From Insights to Action

A core output from the strategic planning process was understanding the importance of good data, tracking our activities, touchpoints, and metrics in real time. With that in mind, we developed KPI’s in a way to help us first understand our baseline while establishing clear goals so that we can continue to properly measure growth and evaluate our progress over time.


Informed by our conceptual framework and theory of change, we outlined KPIs to align to with our two key impact areas:

  1. Career Readiness

  2. Jewish Journey

With that we are committed to the following KPI’s in relation to Career Readiness:  


1. Tracking the number of beneficiaries who report:

      • Being Supported by Career Up Now Community

      • Enhanced professional development through Career Up Now network

2. Tracking the number of beneficiaries who:

      • Received Mentorship

      • Conducted informational interviews


3. Working toward 70% of participants reporting Career Up Now helped them:

      • Develop professionally

      • Increase professional opportunities

      • Feel a strong connection to a professional community

      • Develop a valuable professional network

      • Increase their confidence and professional abilities


Additionally, looking through the lens of Jewish Journey, Continuity and Identity, we outlined the KPI’s below:


1. Tracking the number of beneficiaries who report:

      • Forming new meaningful relationship with Jewish peers

      • Feeling more connected to Jewish community

      • Feeling more connected to their Jewish identity

      • Actively involved in leadership roles within Jewish organizations

2. Working toward 70% of participants reporting Career Up Now helped them:

      • Find meaning in Judaism/Jewish wisdom.

      • Are able to apply Jewish wisdom in the workplace

      • Increase Jewish engagement (Shabbat, local community initiatives, personal  

       rituals, holiday observance)

3. Community Development:

      • 4,000+ Jews between ages 18-32 engaged annually Growth year-over-year

      • 15,000+ touch points per year

      • 70% repeat participants annually


These KPIs collectively guide our journey, ensuring that our initiatives contribute meaningfully to the growth, development, and interconnectedness of our community.

Programs in Review

As we continued to emerge from a post-Covid lockdown environment, Career Up Now hosted over 30 gatherings across our five core cities, San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, Boston and Atlanta, engaging over 2,500 individuals across multiple industries including, healthcare, real estate, entrepreneurship, nonprofits, finance, entertainment, government, education and technology.


This year also saw the introduction of our National Networking Fellowship, a program designed for students and young professionals eager to engage with leading figures in their industry, enhance their career prospects and expand their professional network. Through this initiative the fellows conducted over 300 informational interviews and mentorship sessions with top industry leaders from our community.


Through our programs, ongoing mentorship support and newly launched fellowship program, we have helped to spark 300 new mentor relationships, investing in the next generation of leaders as they embark on their career journeys.

What the Emerging Professionals Say

“Looking back on 2023, Career Up Now wasn't just an organization—it was a platform that enabled me to be part of, and build a meaningful Jewish community of career motivated peers. In a world where being Jewish can seem lonely, Career Up Now served a need that so many of us young professionals were looking for and couldn’t find elsewhere.”  - Tom Sciara, San Francisco

“I have been actively involved with Career Up Now since my freshman year at UCLA. Over the years, I have gained countless mentors, a connection to a Jewish community I wouldn't have connected with otherwise, leadership opportunities, and even found my business partner. As an entrepreneur, Career Up Now has been invaluable to both me and my friends, both professionally and Jewishly.” - Aaron Feigelman, San Francisco

“I found immense value in the insights provided to me, being a sophomore in college, the questions I had answered through speaking with the mentors have definitely helped me to further navigate my early professional career path!” - Evan Schrier,  Boston

“Career Up Now has tremendously assisted me along my professional path, both Jewishly and personally. From the mentors I've gained to hosting the Career Up Now podcast, over the past four years and while living in multiple cities, Career Up Now has been integral to my success.” - Sophia Felson, Los Angeles

Looking Ahead

As we look to the year ahead, we are inspired by our learnings from 2023 and deeply committed to continuing our work to create a Jewish community that advances career pursuits by giving young adults the Jewish wisdom, connections, and resources to be successful throughout their professional endeavors, thereby making Judaism relevant and meaningful to their everyday lives.


We are also deeply aware of the fact that in light of world events, there is a deep need for additional support to our students and young professionals in the face of mounting anti-Semitism. First, we recognize that our community members are searching for safe spaces to gather in community and we are currently in touch with our campus and city liaisons on ways we can support them in real time. Second, we are increasingly concerned about members of our community facing discrimination and outright anti-Semitism in the workplace. This has already been on our radar with the release of the White House Report in May 2023 (found here) which highlighted anti-Semitic discrimination in the workplace, and sadly we can only expect these trends to worsen as we continue to see the rapid rise and open embrace of anti-Semitism today.


As said before, our work has always been more than just professional development; it has been about fostering a sense of identity, belonging, and strength in the face of adversity. As we move into 2024 this remains our guiding light.


We again thank you for being on this journey with us and look forward to continuing to share updates from the field in the year ahead.


Finally, your thoughts, questions and feedback are welcome. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch directly by responding to this email at or contacting Bradley Caro Cook directly at



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