Participants from Seven States begin Spertus Institute Certificate in Jewish Leadership Program in Partnership with Northwestern University

Spertus Institute’s Chicago campus. Photo by Kendall McCaugherty. Copyright Hedrich Blessing.

Applications now open for Fall 2020 cohort

Jewish leadership programs generally focus on either management skills or Jewish literacy. But in today’s world, the hardworking professionals and dedicated volunteers who lead Jewish organizations need specialized knowledge in both these important areas in order to meet the challenges and opportunities unique to the Jewish world.

To fill this need, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, in partnership with Northwestern University, offers the Certificate in Jewish Leadership, a program proven to enhance the abilities of Jewish leaders. The program’s eighth cohort recently began working together. They serve a robust range of organizations in seven U.S. states, illustrating the type of national network gained by participants. Participants are: Amy Claver, Senior Specialist, External Engagement, Rotary International, Evanston, IL; Janos Cosma, IT Analyst and Consultant based in Chicago, IL; Polly Edelstein, Fellowship Coordinator, Tribe 12, Philadelphia, PA; Francine Ephraim, Consultant, Ephraim Nonprofit Solutions LLC, Highland Park, IL; Rebecca Garrett, Director of Development, Spertus Institute, Chicago, IL; Chris Harrison, Writer and Editor, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY; Shira Heideman, Director Events and Marketing, JCC Baltimore, Baltimore, MD; Brooke Herszage, Coordinator of Mentoring & Executive Coaching, Spertus Institute, Chicago, IL; Jennifer Hillel, Director of Development, Israel Action Network/JFNA, New York, NY; Noah Kitty, Rabbi at Etz Chaim, Wilton Manors, FL; Jen Lande, Director, Advancement, Hillels of Illinois/ Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, IL; Emily Resnick, Engagement Associate, Northwestern Hillel, Evanston, IL; and Sheri Rosenberg, Director of Jewish Programs and Strategic Partnerships, Zeta Beta Tau, Indianapolis, IN.

During the program, they will learn to strengthen their own leadership styles, manage change, and inspire excellence. They will gain the skills to better communicate and collaborate within and across organizations, even in difficult times and trying situations.


Applications are now being accepted for the 2020/2021 cohort. Instruction takes place during two Chicago seminars, August 30-September 2, 2020 and January 10-13, 2021. This is a selective enrollment program that requires applicants to have five or more years of professional experience and a strong commitment to fulfilling their professional potential. The deadline for preferred admission is May 15, 2020.

This program is designed for busy, working adults ready to move forward in their careers. Individual professional coaching is an integrated component of the program to help students apply what they learn to their own real life circumstances. The full cost of the program is $2,500. This includes a leadership assessment and coach match, but does not include travel or accommodations. Scholarship opportunities may be available for qualified employees of Jewish organizations.

Two areas of leadership are covered in each of the Chicago seminars. During the fall 2020 seminar, Models of Jewish Leadership is taught by Dr. Hal M. Lewis, who served as the CEO of Spertus Institute for ten years and is now Spertus Chancellor, the principal consultant for Leadership for Impact LLC, and on the faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership. Also during the fall seminar, the session on Collaboration is taught by Dr. Gail Berger Darlow, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University.

During the spring 2021 seminar, Communications for Leaders is taught by Aleen Bayard, Principal of Aleen Bayard Inc. and Adjunct Faculty, Northwestern University. Leading People Through Change is taught by Dr. Russ Rogers, Director of Graduate Programs at DePaul University’s School for New Learning.

Those interested in learning more should contact Spertus Director of Enrollment Management Anita Silvert at or 312.322.1707, or visit