About the Program

Organizations that serve the Jewish community operate in a rapidly changing social, cultural and political landscape. The Executive Leadership Program is an 18-month fellowship designed to prepare outstanding mid-career professionals for senior leadership roles. Fellows analyze the changing communal landscape, sharpen their guiding visions of Jewish life, and expand their leadership and management skills.

Program Overview

The program includes four in-person seminars, skills-focused short courses and peer-led practice groups. Three seminars are taught by the program’s multidisciplinary faculty and held at the Mandel Institute’s space in Brookline, MA. One seminar is held in Israel and features joint learning with fellows of Mandel’s Israel-based programs. All program costs and most travel expenses are covered by the Mandel Institute. The curriculum is organized around three strands:

Social Analysis

Fellows analyze trends in North American Jewish communities and Israeli society, and deliberate together about salient opportunities and challenges.

Visions of Jewish Life

Fellows examine ideas that animate contemporary Jewish life in diverse settings, and sharpen their own visions of the Jewish future.

Nonprofit Management

Fellows develop their leadership signatures and stories, and learn ways to catalyze organizations to achieve vision-guided change.

Alongside cohort-based learning, fellows meet monthly with a program mentor. All program mentors are current or past leaders of Jewish organizations. The mentoring program is tailored to each fellow’s current workplace challenges, unique leadership profile and future career pathways.

Seminar Dates

Cohort V (2024-2025)

Seminar One: Boston – January 7-11, 2024

Seminar Two: Israel – May 28 – June 4, 2024

Seminar Three: Boston – October 27-31, 2024

Seminar Four: Boston – June 8-12, 2025

Cohort IV (2022-2024)

Seminar One: Boston – November 6-10, 2022

Seminar Two: Israel – May 16-23, 2023

Seminar Three: November 5-9, 2023

Seminar Four: May 13-17, 2024

About the Fellows

Fellows of the program are mid-career Jewish communal professionals who aspire to and are on track for executive leadership positions. Executive leadership positions include CEO roles in organizations of any size and senior leadership (C-Suite) roles in large organizations.

The Executive Leadership Program is coordinated with Jewish Federations of North America and Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. Cohort V will include a mix of federation and JCC professionals, alongside professionals who work in other Jewish nonprofit settings. We strive to recruit cohorts that reflect the diversity of the Jewish community.

Fellows & Graduates

Sam Aboudara Headshot

Sam Aboudara

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Matt Abrams Gerber Headshot

Matt Abrams Gerber

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Marni Allen Headshot

Marni Allen

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Steven Baker Headshot

Steven Baker

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Michal Eskenazi Becker Headshot

Michal E. Becker

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

David Cohen Headshot

David L. Cohen

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Isabel de Koninck Headshot USE

Isabel de Koninck

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Stacey Aviva Flint Submitted Headshot

Stacey Aviva Flint

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Derek Gale Headshot

Derek Gale

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Evan Goldman Headshot

Evan Goldman

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Adam Kolett Headshot

Adam Kolett

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Naomi Lamb Headshot

Naomi Lamb

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Lisa Long Headshot

Lisa Long

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Amy Marks Headshot

Amy Marks

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Judith Moses Dworkin Headshot

Judith Moses Dworkin

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Gabe Most Headshot

Gabe Most

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Rori Picker Neiss Submitted Headshot

Rori Picker Neiss

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Betsy Polk Joseph Headshot USE

Betsy Polk Joseph

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Alex Roth-Kahn Headshot

Alexandra Roth-Kahn

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Rich Walter Headshot

Richard Walter

Executive Cohort IV 2022-2024

Judy Alperin Headshot

Judy Alperin

CEO of the Jewish Federation, Foundation & JCC of Greater New Haven

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Lisa Armony Headshot

Lisa Armony

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Ronnie Conn Headshot

Ronnie Conn

Chief Operating Officer of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Abbey Feinberg Headshot

Abbey Feinberg

Annual Campaign Director at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Brad Finkel Headshot

Brad Finkel

Chief Operating Officer for JCC Chicago

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Abbey Frank 2

Abbey Frank

Former Senior Director for Program Operations and Planning at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Meggie Fredman Headshot

Meggie Fredman

AJC’s Director of the Alexander Young Leadership Department

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Dan Goldwin Headshot

Dan Goldwin

Executive Director for Public Affairs for the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Chicago (JUF)

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Stephanie Hausner Headshot

Stephanie Hausner

Chief Program Officer of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023


Matt Kernkraut

Chief Development Officer for Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Naomi Knopf Headshot

Naomi Knopf

Chief of Staff at Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Ashley Lasher Headshot

Ashley Lasher

Executive Director of the Asheville Jewish Community Center

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Allie Lipner Rosenblum Headshot

Allie Lipner Rosenblum

Director of Development Operations at AJC

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Liv Mendelsohn Headshot

Liv Mendelsohn

Director of Accessibility and Inclusion at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre and Artistic Director of the ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Max Patashnik

Maxima Patashnik

Director of the JCRC and Government Affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle where

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Shelley Rood Wernick Headshot

Shelley Rood Wernick

Managing Director of the Center on Aging and Trauma at The Jewish Federations of North America

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Darren Schwartz Headshot

Darren Schwartz

Chief Planning and Strategy Officer for the Jewish Federation of San Diego

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Karen Sher Headshot

Karen Sher

Vice President of Community Leadership and Engagement for Jewish Federation of St. Louis

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Stefanie Tuzman Headshot

Stefanie Tuzman

President & CEO of Jewish Nevada

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023

Martin Yafe Headshot

Martín Yafé

Chief Program Officer of the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, located in Northern Manhattan, NY

Executive Cohort III 2021-2023


Zach Briton

Chief Development Officer of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022

Jessica Brown Smith New Headshot

Jessica Brown Smith

Senior Director of Development of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Roxanne Cohen

Former Managing Director of Community Impact, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in San Francisco

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Sam Cohen

Vice President, JCC Maccabi at JCC Association of North America

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Andrew Cushnir

Executive Vice President, Donor Relations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Anita Denes-Meador

Chief Program Officer for JCC Chicago

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Karen Elam

Director of the Levine Center to End Hate, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Sally Flinchbaugh

Chief Operating Officer at the Oshman Family JCC

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Mindee Fredman

Vice President of Community Impact at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Hana Gruenberg

Managing Director of the Jewish Life department at UJA-Federation of NY

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Chavie N. Kahn

Director of School Strategy and Policy at UJA-Federation of New York

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Jason Kunzman

Chief Program Officer for the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


David Kurzmann

Senior Director, Community and Donor Relations, at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Eric Lightman

Executive Director of the JCC of the Lehigh Valley in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Naomi Rosenfeld

Executive Director of the Atlantic Jewish Council, the Jewish Federation of the eastern Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Rachel Rubenstein

Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County, NY (JFGOC)

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Sami Sinclair

Former Vice President of Development for JCC Greater Boston

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Dani Weinstein

Combined Jewish Philanthropies’ (CJP) Associate Vice President of Women’s Philanthropy and Young Adult Philanthropy

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Nataly Yusim

Chief Operating Officer at Galbut Family Miami Beach JCC on the Simkins Family Campus (MBJCC) in Miami Beach, FL

Executive Cohort II 2020-2022


Sarah Beutel

Vice President of Community Building at the Jewish Federation of Ottawa

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Tova Birnbaum

Director of Jewish Content at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Elisa Deener-Agus

Chief of Staff of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington in Washington, D.C.

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Adina Frydman

CEO of Young Judea Global

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Sue Gelsey

Chief Program Officer at the Jewish Community Center Association

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


James Greene

Executive Director of Camp Laurelwood in Madison, CT

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Jennifer Gross

Chief Executive Officer of American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Daniel Held

Chief Program Officer of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Renée Kutner

Chief Operating Officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Michelle Labgold

Chief Planning Officer of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation (GMJF)

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Abbie Levin

Senior Vice President of Operations at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Paul Lurie

Chief Operating Officer of the JCC of Greater Baltimore

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Jesse Rosen

President & CEO of the Mandel JCC of the Palm Beaches

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Erika Rudin-Luria

President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Hugh Seid-Valencia

Director of Collaborative Leadership and Jewish Engagement at Jewish Silicon Valley

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Adam Silver

Chief Executive Officer of Calgary Jewish Federation and Calgary Jewish Community Campus Corporation in Alberta, Canada

Executive Cohort I 2018-2019


Faculty & Mentors


Naomi Adler

CEO, Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America



Deborah Ancona

Seley Distinguished Professor of Management, a Professor of Organization Studies, and the Founder of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management



Mara Benjamin

Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Mt. Holyoke College



Robin Bernstein

Former President & Chief Executive Officer, The Educational Alliance


Jeremy Burton

Jeremy Burton



Sarah Bunin Benor

Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion



Cindy Chazan

Senior Advisor The Wexner Foundation (Retired)


Serena Eisenberg Headshot

Serena Eisenberg



Allan Finkelstein

President and CEO of the Jewish Community Centers (Retired)



Alan Gill

Executive Vice President Emeritus of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)



Stephen H. Hoffman

President Emeritus of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland



Dan Judson

Dean of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School



Asher Lopatin

Executive Director of Detroit’s JCRC/AJC: A Partnership for Community Relations and Jewish advocacy



John Ruskay

Executive Vice President Emeritus of UJA-Federation of New York and a Senior Fellow at the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute in Jerusalem



Devora Steinmetz

Faculty, Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership and Hebrew College Rabbinical School



David Stolow

Faculty Director of the Public and Nonprofit MBA Program at Boston University Questrom School of Business



Eligibility & FAQ

 Applications for Cohort V will open in Spring 2023.