Program Seeks Emerging Leaders

By Steven I. Weiss

Published June 25, 2004, issue of June 25, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A new program in Los Angeles dedicated to finding and training emerging leaders for local synagogues graduated its first class this month.

Called the Los Angeles Synagogue Leadership Institute, the program, crafted by the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis, gathered 35 students from all the major denominations and taught them, over the past two years, how they can better serve their colleagues and congregations as they move into leadership positions. Students were nominated by their rabbis and synagogue presidents, or by those already in the program.

With regular sessions, the classes focused on topics ranging from developing relationships among synagogue staff and lay leadership to extracting lessons in leadership conduct from Jewish texts. According to a report produced by the Board of Rabbis, the program was instituted to instill in a generation of emerging synagogue leaders “Jewish textual learning, leadership theory and hands-on leadership skills”; to strengthen their understanding of and commitment to multiple levels of leadership; and to foster joint programming between synagogue and institutional partners.

At the program’s final class before graduation this month, teacher Marla Abraham discussed the cosmological concept of tzimtzum — that God withdrew the divine presence in order to make room for the world — as a guiding principle for learning how to establish limits. “Sometimes saying no is giving others space,” she told the students.

One of them, Carole Stein, a congregant at the Conservative congregation Mishkon Tefilo in Venice, Calif., said she benefited greatly from the program, specifically the “discussion about rabbi/lay relations and how to optimize them to help the congregation grow.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.