Jewish Federation Launches New Leadership Development Program

jHaven, the under-45 division of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, is launching a six-month leadership development program for emerging professionals in the community, set to begin this winter and running through late spring 2022.

The program is designed to help ensure the future vitality of the Jewish community by providing an educational platform in which the participants will learn, share, and grow their ability to act as leaders. The program will consist of eight weeknight sessions, followed by a two-night, Shabbaton-style retreat, accompanied by a graduation ceremony.

Sessions will address such topics as: “how to listen like a leader;” “how to create meaningful change as part of a team;” and “how to be an effective board member.” Lecture-based learning will be done over an included kosher meal and will be bookended by hands-on, experiential practice and one-on-one/small group discussions.

“Leadership development is the cornerstone on which we build the future of our community, and I couldn’t be more excited to breathe new life into our Jewish Federation’s efforts in that arena,” said Program & Development Associate Derek Holodak, who designed and will oversee the new initiative. “Having just completed two years in the Jewish Federations of North America’s Next Gen Jewish Federation Fellowship, learning and collaborating with peers from across North America, it is a ‘dream come true’ to have the opportunity to bring back to my community all that I learned about effective leadership and team/community building from the Center for Creative Leadership and M2: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education.”

Nominations are currently being solicited from local Jewish agencies and synagogues, with a general application process opening to the community after the High Holidays. The cost to participate — including meals, materials and graduation gifts — will be under-written for each selected leader. However, each graduate of the program will commit to: serving at least one year on a Federation committee; serving in some capacity with a local agency or synagogue of their choice; making an impactful pledge to Annual Campaign, which will be solicited upon completion of the program; and participating financially in a simulated allocations process during the capstone retreat.

To learn more or to get involved, contact Program & Development Associate Derek Holodak at or (203) 387-2424 x217.

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