The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation has selected 26 high-caliber Jewish professional and volunteer leaders from around the world for the fourth cohort of the Schusterman Fellowship. The Fellowship is an intensive, 18-month leadership development program that aims to enlarge the pool of top nonprofit talent capable of addressing evolving challenges and opportunities in the U.S., Israel and beyond.
The new cohort of Schusterman Fellows comes from Jewish and secular nonprofits, as well as business and government sectors, across the U.S., Israel and the United Kingdom. Fellows are working on the front lines of Jewish and civic engagement, disaster relief, hunger relief, social and racial justice, Jewish education, global Jewish service, equity, inclusion and more. A full list of the new Schusterman Fellows is available at: www.schusterman.org/meet-fellows.
“The world is changing at a rapid pace, and the challenges we face are growing more complex and more intertwined,” said Sanford R. Cardin, president of the Schusterman Family Foundation. “We are investing in these Fellows as the visionary leaders we need in the Jewish community and in Israel to ensure we anticipate, adapt to and, where possible, capitalize upon changes.”
The Fellowship is an executive-level leadership program that features personalized professional development experiences and empowers fellows to address needs within their organizations, in the Jewish community and in the wider world.
Now in its fourth year, with more than 80 Fellows that have participated in the program, the Fellowship is building a pipeline of C-suite talent for Jewish organizations, at a time when nonprofits and for-profits are struggling to attract and retain top talent. According to Leading Edge, the alliance for excellence in Jewish Leadership, 75 to 90 percent of Jewish nonprofits will be faced with the challenge of replacing retiring CEOs and executive directors in the next four to six years. (Read Are Jewish Organizations Great Places to Work?)
In the first three years of the program, nearly 95 percent of Fellows have experienced an increase in professional responsibilities, and 20 percent have received formal promotions, a third of which have been into C-suite positions. Fellows have developed and implemented programs to address culture and communication issues, revamped organizational theories of change, built board and governance structures, introduced mindfulness practices at global organizations, and strengthened movements within the Jewish community to address pressing challenges such as child abuse, the refugee crisis and women’s rights.
“The Fellowship is built on the philosophy that strong leadership is key to building strong organizations and ultimately a strong sector,” says Abby Saloma, Schusterman’s director of leadership and talent who oversees the Fellowship program. “It all starts with leadership, which is why we hope to create a powerful ripple effect in which Fellows apply what they are learning in real time to advance the missions of the organizations and communities they serve.”
The 18-month Fellowship program follows a development arc tailored to each individual, strengthening participants’ personal leadership capacity, as well as their ability to lead an organization, foster collaboration and drive sector-wide change. Each fellow will participate in individualized and cohort-based learning; work closely with an executive coach to create a customized leadership development plan; receive a stipend to participate in leadership advancement opportunities; and develop a plan to address a pressing challenge in their organization or field. They will also work with the Senior Schusterman Fellows who have completed the program.
The Fellowship is part of Schusterman’s broader efforts to work in partnership with other organizations and foundations to transform how the Jewish communal sector invests in professional and volunteer leadership. It reflects the foundation’s belief that exceptional professionals and volunteers are key to building a strong ecosystem capable of growing the number of people actively engaging in Jewish life and drawing on Jewish values to create a positive impact.
For more details and to see the full list of Schusterman Fellows, visit www.schusterman.org/schusterman-fellowship