Letter from the Director: Rosh Hashanah 5783

Dear Friends,

During this season of renewal, we are thrilled to announce the formation of a new cohort of the Executive Leadership Program. Please meet the incoming fellows! They are leaders in four of North American Jewry’s major communal networks: federations, Jewish community centers, Jewish community relations councils and Hillels. They were recruited from a large and diverse applicant pool, including an outstanding group of finalists who traveled to Boston for interviews.

We are deeply grateful to all of the applicants to Cohort IV, and to colleagues who wrote recommendations on their behalf.  As members of the admissions committee repeatedly remarked, the quality of the applicant pool inspires confidence in the future vitality of many of our community’s most important institutions.

Cohort IV will convene for its first seminar in November, with a focus on demographic trends in North American Jewish communities. The program’s faculty and staff are working intensely to prepare for the seminar, which will include a group inquiry project on behalf of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, following up on their recent community study.

The new cohort of Executive Leadership fellows will overlap with Cohort III fellows, who have transitioned into the final phase of the program. During the weeks ahead, Cohort III fellows will continue working on their capstone projects while meeting with their practice groups, mentors and communications coaches. The fellows will share visions for their communal leadership during the group’s final seminar in January.

The fall holidays mark the midpoint for the Educational Leadership Program’s inaugural cohort.  Fellows, faculty and staff are gearing up for the Israel Seminar in December. The week-long program will examine Israel’s dynamic society and many of the diverse visions of Jewish education that it has inspired.  The Mandel Foundation-Israel’s rich array of programs for leadership in education ensures that our North American Educational Leadership fellows will get an insider’s vantage point.  They will also have a chance to learn alongside their Israeli counterparts during a joint study day with fellows of the Jerusalem-based Mandel School for Educational Leadership.

As the Mandel Institute’s programs mature, we continue to identify new ways to serve our graduates. This fall, we are inviting graduates of the Executive Leadership Program’s second cohort to enroll in a four-part virtual course on strategies for improving supervision of professional colleagues. The course will be taught by Carole Levy and will be a new addition to our growing repertoire of short courses on leadership and management skills. We have also set a date in June for a convening of all of our graduates in Boston.

We enter the new year cognizant of the profound global and national challenges we face and drawing inspiration from the passion and dedication of our community of fellows, faculty and mentors.

We wish you a sweet and healthy new year.

G’mar chatima tova,

Ted Sasson