Mandel Foundation Announces Applications for New Cohort of Executive Leadership Program for Federations and JCCs

By Ted Sasson

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation announces open recruitment for a second cohort of the Mandel Executive Leadership Program. The program’s aim is to improve the capacities of rising leaders to address the challenges and opportunities facing their communities, and to expand the pipeline for executive and senior leadership positions.

Applications will be accepted until April 1, and a new cohort will launch in January 2020. Federation and JCC professionals who believe they are on track for executive or senior leadership positions in the next five years are encouraged to apply.

The Mandel Executive Leadership Program builds on the Foundation’s decades-long support of JCCs and federations. As continent-wide networks with a pluralistic mission, JCCs and federations serve the Jewish community as a whole. In an age of increasing diversity, these institutions have the potential to promote a strong framework for Jewish life, advance shared purposes, and innovate strategies to adapt to rapidly changing organizational, communal and social circumstances.

The Mandel Executive Leadership Program is designed for outstanding JCC and federation professionals who are on track for executive leadership positions in organizations of any size, or senior leadership positions in large organizations. The program’s focus on rising leaders reflects the Foundation’s commitment to the future. Strong candidates will have demonstrated an ability to lead, strong ethical standards, creativity, high intellectual capacity, and a passion for Jewish communal life.

The 16-month program includes cohort learning during seminars in Boston and Israel with a faculty of senior practitioners and scholars of Jewish studies, the social sciences and nonprofit management. The seminars examine the major opportunities and challenges facing Jewish organizations through three curricular lenses:

  • Contemporary Jewish Life: Fellows analyze organizational and communal challenges in relation to broader social, cultural and demographic trends.
  • Visions and Values: Fellows examine alternative conceptions of Jewish purposes and competing visions of the Jewish community at its best.
  • Nonprofit management: Fellows craft strategies and sharpen skills for organizational and communal change.

The seminars challenge fellows to grapple with real communal and organizational problems while strengthening critical leadership skills to analyze, envision and implement. Such skills are essential to leadership effectiveness across a multitude of contexts, and we believe that they are relevant for addressing the immediate challenges facing our communities and organizations.

As rising leaders, fellows also need support to address individual challenges as they unfold within their organizations and during career transitions. Alongside cohort learning, fellows work one-on-one with mentors who are themselves highly accomplished current and past executives of federations and JCCs.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation covers all program and transportation costs. Sponsoring organizations provide release time for participation in the Boston and Israel seminars. Additional information about the program, including a video featuring interviews with current fellows, can be found on the program website.

Ted Sasson is Director of Programs, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.