Step 1: Intent to Apply

Step 2: Application

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must have at least six years of professional experience and currently be employed by a Jewish nonprofit organization in the United States or Canada. Such nonprofits include, but are not limited to, federations, JCCs, JCRCs, Hillels, human services agencies, social action organizations, advocacy groups, private foundations and start-ups of all types.

Successful candidates will have a wide range of current titles and professional roles including, for example, programming, fundraising, operations, advocacy and leadership development. Successful candidates will share in common the aspiration to move into executive leadership roles of increasing scope and responsibility.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation offers a number of programs to develop leadership for Jewish communities in the United States and Canada. Jewish educators are encouraged to explore the Educational Leadership Program and the Mandel Teacher-Educator Institute (MTEI). Artists and cultural producers are encouraged to explore the Cultural Leadership Program.

If selected, fellows must attend all four seminars in their entirety. The seminar dates are: 

  • Seminar I: Boston – January 12 – 16, 2025
  • Seminar II: Israel – May 20 – 27, 2025
  • Seminar III: Boston – October 19 – 23, 2025
  • Seminar IV: Boston – May 3 – 7, 2026

FAQs

The Executive Leadership Program enables outstanding midcareer 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 advising.

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

Finalists will be invited to prepare an additional essay, arrange a letter of reference, and schedule an interview in-person in Boston with the admissions committee.

Finalists will be assessed in relation to the following criteria:

  • Track record of leadership
  • Intellect and creativity
  • High ethical standards
  • Passion for Jewish communal life
  • On-track for executive leadership of an organization of any size, or senior leadership role in a large organization

With these criteria in mind, the admissions committee seeks to create a cohort that represents the diversity of the Jewish community.

Generally, yes. The program prepares fellows for executive leadership of increasing scope and responsibility. CEOs or Executive Directors of small and mid-sized organizations are invited to apply to the program.

If you applied in the past, you are welcome to apply again. We do not provide feedback concerning previous admissions rounds, as all deliberations by admissions committees are confidential. A new admissions committee is created for every Executive Leadership Program cohort. Each admissions committee deliberates independently on every application, so repeat applicants are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged. If you have applied more than once in the past, we recommend that you consider waiting to submit a new application until there is a significant change in your professional role.

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

The program employs a wide range of learning modalities, including:

  • Lectures and small group discussions
  • Case studies and group inquiry projects
  • Site visits and walking tours
  • Peer-led practice groups and peer coaching
  • Journaling and group integration sessions
  • Individual learning with an advisor

Fellows must attend all four seminars in their entirety. Between seminars, fellows continue their learning by video conference and individually with an advisor. The typical time commitment for online sessions between seminars is 3-5 hours per month.

Sponsoring organizations approve release time for fellows to join the program’s four seminars.

  • Seminar I: Boston – January 12 – 16, 2025
  • Seminar II: Israel – May 20 – May 27, 2025
  • Seminar III: Boston – November 9 – 13, 2025
  • Seminar IV: Boston – May 3 – 7, 2026

The Mandel Institute covers travel and program expenses, except for meals during travel. Sponsoring organizations provide release time for participation in the seminars.

All participants must be fully vaccinated and boosted (as defined by the CDC), unless exempt from vaccination for medical reasons.

Applications for Cohort VI are due on June 13th, 2024. Applicants will then be informed of their application status by the middle of July.

No, you do not have to be Jewish to apply for the program. Any person who has at least six years of professional experience and currently employed by a Jewish nonprofit organization in the United States or Canada is invited to apply to the program.

Fellows who are nursing are offered Milk Stork to help them ship home their pumped milk home. This applies to seminars in the United States and Israel. Fellows will be given a private space to pump when needed. Fellows who have a newborn under 1 year old may bring their baby with them to the seminar regardless of location. Fellows are encouraged to bring a family member or other caregiver to take care of the newborn during the seminar. MINL will cover the cost of the flight to bring the caregiver, and the caregiver and infant will be invited to meals when no programming occurs.  If a fellow does not have a caregiver to bring to the seminar and must bring their baby, the fellow should find local childcare where the seminar takes place and is fully responsible for managing the childcare provider. MINL will reimburse the fellow up to $200 for each day of the seminar for the cost of childcare.

For finalists who are traveling to Boston for admissions interviews, Milk Stork is offered to ship pumped milk home. Finalists will be given a private space to pump when needed. If a finalist needs to bring an infant with them, the finalist will be responsible for ensuring childcare during their interview day.

Finalists who are unable to travel due to pregnancy or care of an infant will be offered the option of participating virtually.