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Staff Fast Facts: Dina Burcat, Director of Alumni Affairs and Professional Development

Dina Burcat is the Director of Alumni Affairs and Professional Development at Yeshiva University. She came to YU in 2011, after spending five years as the Development Associate and Alumni Coordinator at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore, MD. Dina oversees YU's alumni relations, and is responsible for communication, social media, professional development, and special events.

Dina was raised in Harrisburg, PA and attended the University of Maryland. She lives on the Upper West Side (New York, NY). She is an active member of The Jewish Center.

 

 

1. What profession did you think you would hold when you were an undergrad?

I spent time at Hebrew University in Jerusalem as an undergraduate student, and participated in an internship/fellowship program through JESNA (Jewish Education Service of North America). While most people spent their internships as teachers in schools, I was placed in an administrative role and fell in love with being on the back-end of Jewish education in America. I knew then that I wanted to work in a Jewish educational institution, and I pursued that in my first job out of college, as the Development Associate and Alumni Coordinator at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School (Baltimore, Maryland) and then in my next role here at Yeshiva University.

 

2. What aspect of your job with YU do you most enjoy?

My absolute favorite alumni moments are at our annual milestone reunions, when we celebrate the 50- and 60-year class reunions. It is the most heartwarming thing to watch people see and embrace their old classmates and friends – sometimes after many decades apart.

 

3. How has your past work experience prepared you for this position?

I spent five years working in the development office at Beth Tfiloh in Baltimore. It was my first job out of college, and the time that I spent there really allowed me to dive into the world of Jewish educational institutions and alumni relations. It was admittedly a much smaller shop than YU – I was dealing with only 1000 alumni in a much younger school, and a non-university, at that. But the smaller setting allowed me to be very hands-on in all aspects of the job – fundraising, volunteer engagement, event planning, alumni relations, and more. So when the opportunity at YU presented itself, it felt like the perfect jump to take everything I had learned to the next level.

 

4. In what ways does the YU alumni office support it's alumni in connecting to YU and each other?

In the eight years that I’ve been at YU, I’ve seen us take leaps and bounds as far as the programming that we are able to provide for our alumni. We know that the power of the YU network is one of the most important things that all graduates leave YU with, so we are so proud to be able to leverage that important benefit and bring programming for our alumni who work in finance, real estate, technology, accounting, law, non-profits and (coming soon) marketing and advertising. Information about those events is available online at yuprofessionalnetworking.com. We also know that our alumni love to give back to current YU students, and we foster a close relationship with YU’s Career Center, where we help to make alumni-student mentorship pairings, or bring alumni back to campus to speak on panels and at job fairs. We also want to make sure that alumni all over the world can stay connected, and we are able to do so with our online “mini-LinkedIn”, YUAluminate.

 

5. What would your colleagues be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve been cooking and baking competitively for years and have even made my way into the finals of a few cooking competitions. One of my recipes was even featured on the back of a Manischewitz matzah box (my own version of a “Wheaties” box, I suppose!)