Frequently Asked Questions

The Mandel Executive Leadership Program enables outstanding midcareer JCC, Federation, JCRC and AJC professionals to sharpen their guiding visions of Jewish communal life and strengthen their leadership and management skills. With attention to practice, the program features cohort learning and individual mentoring.

The cohort is comprised of midcareer professionals from federations, Jewish community centers, Jewish community relations councils and the American Jewish Committee who are 3-5 years away from a top leadership or executive position.


The characteristics of successful candidates for the program include:

  • Proven track records of leadership
  • High ethical standards, creativity, intellectual capacity
  • Passion for Jewish communal life
  • Ages 28-55
  • On track for executive leadership of an organization of any size, or a senior leadership position in a large JCC/Federation/JCRC/AJC

Please note that you must reside in the United States or Canada in order to apply.

Applicants from all faith backgrounds are welcome to apply.

Currently, eligible applicants must work at a JCC, federation, JCRC, or the AJC. In the future, we may expand eligibility beyond these specific organizations. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep informed of possible future expansion.

Yes, applications will be accepted from executives of small and mid-size JCCs, federations, JCRC, or the AJC.

Applications are currently closed. Cohort IV applications will open in the winter of 2021.

An admissions committee drawn from the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership’s faculty, staff and consultants makes admissions decisions.

If you applied in the past, you are welcome to apply again. While we would like to be able to share specific feedback, one of our admissions committee’s basic operating principles is that its deliberations are confidential. Please know that several members of the admissions committee reads each applicants statement, resume, essay and recommendation. Our admissions committee makes very difficult decisions, considering that we have a high number of applications with limited spots available.

Fellows strengthen their capacity to:

  • Lead with vision and values
  • Incorporate research to analyze community opportunities and challenges
  • Draw on Jewish thought to envision and communicate organizational purposes
  • Build organizational strategies aligned with core purposes
  • Manage organizational finances and governance

Fellows must attend all 4 seminars in their entirety. Between seminars, fellows continue their learning by video conference and work 1:1 with a mentor.

Sponsoring organizations give release time for fellows to join the four seminars that take place throughout the 16 months.

The 16-month program for Cohort III includes:

  • Four seminars
    • January 10-14, 2021 (Boston)
    • May 23-27, 2021 (Boston)
    • November 16-23, 2021 (Israel)
    • May 15-19, 2022 (Boston)
  • Learning opportunities between seminars
  • Individual work with a mentor

Cohort IV dates are forthcoming.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation covers travel and program expenses, except for ground transportation and meals during travel. Sponsoring organizations provide release time for participation in the seminars.

“As the world changes, our programs will change, but the need for enlightened, informed leadership will never go away.”

– Morton L. Mandel, Chairman and CEO, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation –