Jewish Professionals: managers or Leaders?

leader-or-managerBy Daniel Allen, Alan Engel, Lou Solomon and Peter Wells

The scenario goes like this: The hiring committee for the CEO position chose a person from outside of the system rather than a person with career credentials. The committee chose a man over a woman. The committee was more interested in management experience than leadership qualities. While some would use this as a description of the just completed election for President of the United States, the same description applies to many of the agencies in Jewish organizational life today.

We consulted with several the more than 400 colleagues who have commented on our pieces in eJewishPhilanthropy or on our Facebook page JPlab. We especially focused on younger colleagues representing a variety of organizations and geographical settings. Each in her or his own way affirmed the scenario above.

One of the key questions that arose over and over was the broad definition of our work as Jewish communal professionals; are we managers or leaders? As part of our ongoing effort to explore our profession we are inviting you to respond to this question; Do you see your Jewish professional career as being a manager or leader in the community?

Please post your responses on our Facebook page JPlab. At the end of November, we shall present a summary of the conversation on the Facebook page as well as in an essay on eJewishPhilanthropy.

Daniel Allen, Alan Engel, Lou Solomon and Peter Wells all served as lay President of the Association of Jewish Communal Professionals ( AJCOP) and as CEO’s of Federations and national Jewish organizations.