1The inaugural cohort of the Community Leadership Initiative is well underway.  Eight Jewish organizations have sponsored 19 emerging lay leaders from throughout the South/Central New Jersey and Philadelphia communities to learn the key components to becoming a long-term successful lay leader.

These communities include: East Brunswick, Edison/Highland Park, Long Branch, Springfield and Philadelphia.  Thus far, the cohort has had the opportunity to learn organizational management and strategy from key presenters, including, Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Rabbi Josh Joseph and Rabbi Elazar Muskin.  Utilizing the academic resources of Yeshiva University, the CLI has been able to convene the talents and wisdom of professors from the Sy Syms School of Business, including Lisa Rosh, Michael Strauss and Charlie Harary.

In addition to the live monthly seminars where the participants collaborate and role playing real-life scenarios that arise in the leadership arena, the program utilizes interactive video-conferencing and a virtual classroom.  This allows busy lay leaders to have access to virtual gatherings, where they can continue to explore the core competencies needed to manage a Jewish non-profit organization.

This robust program has already covered strategic planning, politics and governance, online marketing and Torah leadership.  In the coming months, participants will learn how to succeed in the areas of fundraising, managing volunteers and paid professionals and how to lead in the face of adversity.

The program, however, would not be complete if it did not also holistically address the bigger picture of life as a Jewish leader.  President Richard Joel, Rabbi J.J. Schacter, Dr. David Pelcovitz and Suzy Schwartz  will be presenting on how to balance the larger Jewish community, while juggling one’s own family obligations and responsibilities.

The Community Leadership Initiative instills the confidence and tools needed for today’s leaders to work in concert with their organizations to drive positive, lasting and meaningful change to benefit and strengthen the entire Jewish community.



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