Staff Showcase: Rachel Cohen
21 / 12 / 20
11 / 05 / 20
Every Monday we’ll highlight the wonderful staff we have here at F&BF. This week we meet Josh Cass, Our Fundraising Manager
Your name and job title:
Josh Cass, Fundraising Manager
What made you initially interested in interfaith work?
For the past 12 years give or take I have been working for organisations exploring questions of identity, conflict and belonging in one way shape or form. Over the years though I have been drawn towards questions of religion.
Why do you feel it’s still required in our world? What motivates you?
I believe that interfaith done well has the potential to be really radical. It has the potential to challenge and explore questions relating to power (and powerlessness) and privilege in incredibly profound ways. It has the potential to enable the most unlikely relationships to emerge and consequently the most potential for change. Furthermore, it is uniquely well placed to challenge simplistic us and them narratives which dominate the popular imagination.
How did you first hear about F&BF?
Having worked on these questions for a relatively long time, I have known of F&BF for most of that period. However, I first worked with them when I worked for an organization called the Encompass Trust; I led a project which brought together a diverse group of young people (Brits, Americans, Indonesians, Palestinians and Israelis) and we took a tour of the British Museum put together with and by people at the 3 Faiths Forum (as F&BF was then). Ever since then (that was about 12 years ago) I have been in touch with the team.
How would you explain what you do to someone completely unfamiliar with our work, and what is your favourite aspect of your job?
We are an interfaith education charity. We work with young people in particular to develop the skills and confidences to talk about their own faith or belief identity so as to more effectively navigate our increasingly complex and fragmented communities.
The favourite aspect of my role is getting out and talking to people about the work and working collaboratively with partners to apply interfaith methods to new contexts and questions.
What is the most common misconception about your job? And what is the truth?
As a fundraiser, I think the most common misconception about my job is that I don’t have an understanding of, or connection to the delivery of the work (our work in particular, and interfaith more broadly). However, I really like working with colleagues on questions of project design, thinking through the challenges and opportunities, and working together to develop new methods and approaches as appropriate.
What didn’t you realise about interfaith until working at F&BF?
That interfaith existed! I grew up in the Jewish communities of North London and if I am honest it was (is) very easy to stay within that community ones whole life. F&BF is so important because it is a bridge for people to step out of their communities in a safe way which honours and celebrates their faith identity.
What are you most proud of during your time here at F&BF?
Managing some amazingly talented colleagues; working with colleagues to push the organisation into some new spaces (specifically Barking and Dagenham); helping to think about how our work connects to Human Rights work via the Freedom of Religion or Belief agenda.
What floats your boat outside of work?
Cooking; going to the theatre (alas, not so much at the moment); swimming (again, alas, not so much at the moment!)