Who We Are
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14
J LEADERS VISION
To develop ethical, impactful Jewish young adult leaders to ensure a vibrant Jewish community and make the world a better place.
J LEADERS MISSION
To empower and engage Jewish young adults through leadership development and community-building.
ILLUMINATED BY JEWISH WISDOM
Judaism is multidimensional. It is sometimes described as a civilization, combining religion, culture, ethnicity, peoplehood, nationality, a value system and a way of life. Judaism embraces the totality of diverse Jewish beliefs and practices. However you define and express your Jewish identity, we welcome you to become a part of J Leaders. Jewish wisdom and culture are woven into the fabric of the entire Leadership Academy experience. Core to this vision is the importance of empowering today’s generation of Jewish young adults to be prepared to step-up as value-driven leaders in the community today and in the future. <For More>
Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.”Anne Frank
We believe that….
- Leadership can be learned. Everyone can be a better leader.
- Leadership development begins with a commitment to continual self-discovery, personal growth and learning.
- Leaders align personal and professional decisions with their values.
- Great leaders are humble. They have more influence, attract more capable team members, and earn more confidence than those who rely on ego and power.
- Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging empowers successful teams.
- Trust and vulnerability is foundational to high performing teams.
- Leaders catalyze systems and relationships in the pursuit of measurable positive change.
The only way to change the world is to change yourself into what you want others to be.”Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, & BELONGING
J Leaders is committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment where all stakeholders – fellows, faculty, staff, board members, participants, partners and donors – feel a sense of belonging regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, Jewish denomination, national origin, disability, language, political affiliation, socio-economic status, or any other bias. We understand that success in this work demands attention to addressing systemic exclusion operating in both the Jewish community and the larger secular community. We know that honoring these differences lead to unique ways of thinking and approaching challenges—something we truly value as an inclusive community of leaders. <For More>
“Justice, justice, you shall pursue”.Deut. 16:20
One of J Leaders’ guiding values is that a meaningful life happens in the context of community. As Jews, we have both the opportunity and the obligation to come together with others to build stronger Jewish communities. The Jewish community thrives most when we are inclusive and responsive to others. J leaders strengthens the future of the Jewish community by empowering young adults to connect with their own Jewish core values and work towards making the world a better place.
Do not separate yourself from community.”Hillel the Elder, Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14
LEARN BY DOING
Learning by doing is the idea that we learn more when we actually “do” the activity. Almost 2400 years ago, Aristotle wrote “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. 100 years ago John Dewey said, “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”
Powerful learning experiences engage learners where they are and builds the motivation for more learning. It connects what is learned to what is felt. It makes learning interesting, relevant and meaningful.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”Benjamin Franklin
J Leaders is committed to empowering and engaging Jewish young adults through collaborative partnerships with other Jewish organizations. Working together towards our common vision, we can deliver stronger and better programs, better services, and increased organizational efficiency and effectiveness. In the end, win-win partnerships help us reach and more profoundly impact more Jewish young adults. We enthusiastically embrace and welcome organizational collaboration. Please reach out to us about ways we can work together.
Only twice in the whole Torah does the phrase “lo tov” (not good) appear. The first is when God says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” The second is when Jethro sees his son-in-law, Moses, leading alone and says, “What you are doing is not good.” We cannot live alone. We cannot lead alone. Leadership is teamsmanship.”Rabbi Jonathan SackS, Seven Principles of jewish leadership
GIVING BACK (TIKKUN OLAM)
When we give back to others, we not only help to help to repair the world, but we bring to our own lives increased meaning. A core component of the Leadership Academy is small group community engagement projects. Community projects provide Academy fellows the opportunity to collaborate with local Jewish community organizations on projects of benefit to the organization and the larger Jewish community.
It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.”Rabbi Tarfon said in Pirke Avot 2:21
THE J LEADERS THEORY OF CHANGE (TOC)
J Leaders’ theory of change provides a roadmap that explains why we do what we do, the needs we are addressing, our core assumptions, our guiding principles, and our expected outcomes.
J Leaders purpose is to provide cohort-based, highly-effective, learn-by-doing leadership development, in a connected community of Jewish leaders and community organizations, rooted in Jewish core values, and guided by Jewish faculty and facilitators. Our hypothesis is that the J leaders learning environment will result in 1) passionate, impactful, ethical leaders who will work towards positive change, and 2) trusting and sustaining relationships with other cohort fellows and Jewish community and business leaders. It is our belief that these factors, in combination, will help create a more vibrant Jewish community and make the world a better place.