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Preparing the leaders

kivunim alumni
From left: Jeff Dannick, Janet S Elam, Rick Zakalik, Lael Gray, Randy Colman, Sara Wagner, Scott Katz, Janine Krusky, Andrew Levy, Steve Schauder, David Ackerman

In November, JCC Association hosted its first alumni seminar for the first and second cohorts of Kivunim, a program for orienting first-time executives to their new roles. This follow-up program offered a chance for executives who have been through the program, and who are now in their second and third years of leading a JCC, to renew their relationships with one another, reflect upon their experiences, and share the wisdom they’ve gained with their colleagues. The seminar also allowed them to continue their Jewish learning, benefit from consultations, and provide feedback about their personal and professional development.

The seminar followed close on the heels of October’s gathering of the third cohort of new JCC executive directors taking part in the leadership program. Kivunim, which means “directions,” targets first-time executives, within their first year of responsibility, whether they have moved up through the ranks of a JCC or come from outside the Movement.

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From left: Janet S. Elam, Barry Abels, Leslie Sax, Cathy Gardner, Eldad Goldfarb, Jeffrey Rips, Joni Center, Zack Bodner, David Ackerman

The program, run by Dr. David Ackerman, director, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Jewish Education and Janet S. Elam, a vice president and community consultant who works with new JCC leadership, has two broad goals: To assist new executives in understanding the centrality of the JCC’s Jewish mission and to help them face the challenges of leading a JCC for the first time. Kivunim fosters building a collegial network, fostering familiarity with the programs and resources of JCC Association, and developing a shared language of Jewish living and learning.

Over the past three years, 30 executives have participated in Kivunim. And in January 2015, JCC Association welcomes its fourth cohort of new executives, who will begin Kivunim and their own journey into JCC leadership.

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