Introducing Kehila: Our New Employee Network Group Celebrating Jewish Culture
Palo Alto Networks is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, and employee network groups (ENGs) are one way to help our people to connect and feel supported. We asked Sani Nabatkhorian and Mitch Kocen about their experience starting a new ENG called Kehila, which means "community" in Hebrew. Here’s what you need to know about it!
Kehila is a space for Jewish employees at Palo Alto Networks to connect, celebrate their culture and heritage, and embrace their religion, while enhancing their careers globally. The group welcomes non-Jewish members who are welcome to learn about Jewish culture, religion, and the challenges faced by Jewish communities around the world so that they may become allies and help to create a more inclusive culture.
Kehila’s events help to raise awareness while promoting understanding and appreciation for the Jewish culture and religion. From a Passover-themed movement meditation to a virtual Purim celebration, Kehila is finding innovative and engaging ways to bring people together. Other activities include hosting Hebrew lessons led by native speaking employee volunteers and testing members’ knowledge with popular “Jewish Jeopardy” games. Kehila has also hosted two company wide webinars focused on antisemitism and Holocaust Remembrance Day, which each attracted over 450 attendees.
One of the benefits of joining an ENG like Kehila is the sense of community and connection it provides. Connecting with people from your community and your allies allows you to bring your whole self to work. “Starting Kehila has been such a rewarding experience and I’ve felt the direct community impact,” says Sani. “Employees are reaching out to say thank you for making them feel seen. We definitely appreciate the company giving us the tools to come together!”
Their advice for those considering starting a new ENG is that while it can be challenging, there are internal resources that can help. “Starting a new ENG is far from easy, but between the fantastic resources and assistance from the inclusion and diversity teams and mentorship from the other ENGs, we’ve had a great time launching this community,” said Mitch. We look forward to seeing Kehila continue to grow!
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