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Recruiting now for Federation Fellows – bringing new leaders to the Jewish community

Become a leader of the Jewish community

Leadership in the Jewish community doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires dedication to training and education. And the Federation’s not-so-secret incubator of rising leaders is the Federation Fellows program, which is now recruiting for its second cohort.

Federation Fellows is a two-year leadership development program designed to attract, train and educate new and emerging leaders for the Jewish community. First established in 1994, the program was re-launched in August 2012 with considerable energy and professional experience behind it. The program places 18-22 individuals in their late 20s to early 40s on the boards of directors of various local Jewish organizations, as well on Federation committees in the second year.

Through this inspiring, hands-on experience, Fellows gain invaluable insight into how a nonprofit is run and how important issues are resolved by a board and specific committees. In addition, Fellows participate in multiple workshops and programs focused on learning about their own leadership styles, gaining important skills throughout the two-year program.

So what’s in store for our Federation Fellows?

  • Following an in-depth orientation, participants will be placed as provisional members on the boards of our community’s agencies, organizations, and synagogues in the fall of 2014.
  • During the second year of the program, Fellows will serve as active committee members at the Federation. Over the course of both years, Fellows will participate in numerous leadership training programs, workshops, and seminars.
  • Once one participates in the program, one is a Federation Fellow for life! A Fellow will continue to benefit from networking, leadership training, and educational opportunities offered by the Federation.

Both the Fellows and the community organizations they serve have benefited tremendously from Federation Fellows over the years. Here’s a look at just a few of those who have been motivated, guided, and inspired by the program.

Olga Rybak (Fellow 2012-2014)

The Federation Fellows program became a tremendously insightful and interesting process of getting to know how various Jewish organizations, professionals and lay leaders work together for the benefit of the community. My placement as a fellow at Jewish LearningWorks allowed me to later become a full board member, and besides learning for the first time how the board functions, and what kind of issues it discusses and solves, I am also now getting into the fundraising aspect of a director’s responsibilities. Placement on the Executive Allocations committee allowed me a glimpse into the world of funds allocations throughout the whole network of Jewish organizations and causes. Another tremendous value comes from pairing with an experienced lay leader and just a wonderful person who I think will be my mentor for years to come. Lastly, it’s really awesome to have been going through this experience in a group of people of similar age and eagerness to be active in the community, while diverse in backgrounds and experiences.

Shaun Steingold (Fellow 2012-2014)

The Federation Fellows program is a tremendous opportunity to deepen one’s connection with the Jewish community, whilst also developing one’s own leadership skills and board management understanding. Through the coupling of board placements and complimentary learning and development sessions, participants develop the knowledge and confidence to lead organizations as they navigate the issues facing their future.

My personal experience included placements on the board of the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School and the Jewish Community Federation’s Endowment Committee, both of which I have continued to be engaged with beyond the initial engagement. I have learnt firsthand about the role a board plays in an organization, the duties board members are responsible for, and the balance one needs to constantly demonstrate when helping to determine and direct a strategy.

Josh Rutberg (Fellow 2012-2014)

If required in advance to describe a mentor I would have wanted, I would have described Alan Rothenberg. He is loquacious, self-deprecating and funny, but also smart, experienced and networked into the Jewish and business community in the Bay Area. Each time from the initial meeting to the last, it’s like I’ve known Alan for years and I learn something each time. I thank Fed Fellows for connecting me with Alan.

Rabbi Doug Kahn, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council

JCRC was a true beneficiary of the program – young, committed Jewish adult leaders eager to gain experience in the Jewish communal universe, bringing enthusiasm and commitment and taking away greater understanding of our role in the community. It is a win-win situation – good for our organizations, good for the Federation, and good for the community.

Jeff Maltz (Federation Fellow 2001-2002)

I was placed on the board of the Institute of Aging (IOA) as it sought to navigate many issues facing its future. By being on the board, I learned about various strategies used for fundraising, how a board helps guide a CEO on organizational direction, and of course, about aging. I found that experience to be invaluable both professionally in terms of working with boards and nonprofits, and in my volunteer life to better understand the challenges nonprofits face. Coincidentally, 10 years later I ended up starting a company in the senior space called SilverRide. My experience on the board of the IOA ended up proving to be very valuable, and actually helped guide my thinking when starting the SilverRide.

Lois Wander (Federation Fellow 1999-2000)

I served as a Fed Fellow at A Traveling Jewish Theatre (now TJT), and then later as a full-fledged board member for several years. I learned a lot from the experience, including the basics from how board meetings are run, to some more impactful work such as fundraising, hiring executive directors, and securing loans. In addition to helping the community, you also learn important management and leadership skills. It was very valuable, and I encourage others to participate in this program.

For more information on the Fed Fellows program, contact Liza Meckler, Leadership Development Program Manager, or call 415.512.6260. Apply to be part of the 2014 cohort today.
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