Letter From the Director: 06-11-20

The latest issue of our newsletter profiles recent Mandel Institute convenings on responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Although the challenges are enormous, national networks, funders, organizations and individuals are responding in creative and often pathbreaking ways. We invite you to learn more by watching the recordings or reading summaries of the sessions.

In recent weeks, responses to the pandemic coincide with an outpouring of national activism on the issue of racial justice. Galvanized by the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, public support for addressing the issue of systemic racism has never been higher. How can Jewish organizations contribute to the cause of racial justice in the United States, and what are the special responsibilities of Jewish leadership? We plan to explore these questions with our fellows in the months ahead.

The Mandel Institute is adapting to new modes of work, teaching, and learning. Fellows of the Executive Leadership Program are meeting in practice groups, working with their mentors, and learning about a CEO’s role in financial management. Over the summer, faculty from all three of the program’s teaching strands—nonprofit management, social analysis, and visions of Jewish life—plan to teach special online sessions.

The admissions process for Cohort III of the Executive Leadership Program is underway. The new cohort, scheduled to launch next year, will include rising leaders of federations, Jewish community centers, Jewish community relations councils, and the American Jewish Committee. The large and impressive pool of applicants is a testament to the high caliber of professionals who serve these organizations. We look forward to learning with them.

The confluence of the pandemic and popular movement against racism dramatizes the need for courageous and creative leadership. We are honored to work with our fellows and graduates at such a critical juncture.


Ted Sasson