With a new pledge of $850,000, the Marcus Foundation is continuing their support of Jewish camp director training. Bringing their total commitment to almost $3 million, this latest gift marks the third time the foundation has supported the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Executive Leadership Institute (ELI).

The ELI professional development program, characterized as an executive MBA program, provides intensive training in business management, fundraising and leadership skills. Camp directors work year-round, confronting challenges such as overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, hiring and supervising a staff of several hundred, managing communications, supervising physical sites, working with boards of directors, initiating new programs and much more. The ELI program blends together the best of private sector leadership and management training with Jewish values and ethics targeted to Jewish camp professional leaders. The first two cycles of this initiative, which began in 2006, graduated 36 directors.

The Executive Leadership Institute is viewed by those within the camp field and in the Jewish communal world, as a program that successfully produces professional leaders with the vision and tools to create change and excellence. The fellowship consists of six seminars over the course of 14 months, executive coaching, and the use of customer satisfaction survey instruments, among other resources. With two cycles completed, the program has also created a certain esprit de corps among its graduates, generating a vital network of camp directors who support one another in becoming vision-driven leaders.

ELI III applications will be available Spring 2011 and the program will begin in Fall 2011.

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