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Second Cohort of JELI Accepting Applications

JCC Association and Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) are delighted to announce that applications are currently being accepted to the second cohort of the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI). Made possible with generous funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation, JELI is an online and in-person leadership and professional development program specifically designed for JCC middle- and senior-management professionals. Applications, including all letters of recommendation, are due to JCC Association by Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 5:00 p.m EST.  

The initial cohort of 18 fellows learned to apply Jewish frameworks–values, ethics, texts, and traditions–to setting their organizations’ vision, executing day-to-day management, and developing their own leadership identities.  “The JELI experience enhanced my work as a JCC professional in so many ways,” said Elana MacGilpin, JELI Fellow from Cohort 1 and the director of community engagement at the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford, Connecticut. “From the monthly webinars focused on leadership skills based on Jewish texts, to the in-person retreats and conferences, my JELI mentor, and the supportive learning environment, I have never had a professional development opportunity as rich as this. My JCC life can be quite hectic so taking the time to learn, reflect, process and plan ways to implement what I have gained is truly valued.”

JELI Cohort 2 will start in October 2013 and continue until March of 2015. JELI 2 will include four in-person learning retreats (November 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, exact dates and places to be announced soon), monthly interactive webinars, and instruction and advisement from program mentors and JELI faculty.

“The JELI program has been a wonderful opportunity for the 18 JCC staff members to learn together as a group as they add Jewish leadership skills to their professional toolbox,” said Joy Brand, associate vice-president of professional development at JCC Association. “We are very pleased to be partnering again with JTS, and are thankful to the Jim Joseph Foundation for making this program possible.”

JELI is part of The Davidson School’s Experiential Learning Initiative, funded as part of a five-year, $15 million grant awarded by the Jim Joseph Foundation to enhance the professional development of Jewish educators at JTS. The grant is part of a $45 million initiative to support educator training programs at Yeshiva University, The Jewish Theological Seminary, and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with JCC Association,” said Mark S. Young, program coordinator of the Experiential Learning Initiative at The Davidson School. “Our charge is to train more and better educational and administrative leaders who will foster the growth and success of Jewish experiential education programs and settings. JELI has proven to be a successful innovative approach to fulfilling this charge and we are excited to welcome a second cohort of JCC professionals into the institute.”


Learning sessions are facilitated by JTS faculty, JCC Association professionals, and outside educators. Fellows work with program mentors, senior Jewish educational leaders who will meet with them individually to identify personal areas of professional growth and guide them throughout the 17-month program. Fellows in the program will attend–in addition to the online program components–four in-person instruction sessions.


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