By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Earlier this year, your Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle partnered with the Shalom Hartman Institute on the Courageous Leadership Initiative (CLI), when over 150 rabbis, lay leaders, and communal professionals came together for an extraordinary series of gatherings to learn, ideate, and strengthen relationships that lie at the heart of community.
The CLI was an important step on a journey. Now, we are ready for the next phase, Courageous Leadership 2.0, beginning with the Courageous Leadership Incubator—our investment in a cadre of younger adults ready to step up.
The goal of the Incubator is to take a thoughtful approach to engaging emerging leaders for the benefit of local organizations to foster the deepening of mutually supportive, trusting, and resilient board cultures.
Before I share more details about this innovative program, I want to thank the generous community members whose vision and support in time and resources have made Courageous Leadership 2.0 possible. And it’s important to recap four reasons why Courageous Leadership is so important for ensuring a bright future for Jewish Puget Sound.
Ideas. Relationships. Leadership. Local experience. All are essential for ensuring a bright future for Jewish Puget Sound.
An outstanding aspect of our local experience is that our community has a tremendous depth of talent, an impressive collective of social and intellectual capital for seeding innovation and turning ideas into action. Many younger people have promising ideas for bringing new energy into the culture and structure of organizations that they are passionate about. It’s important to engage them.
That’s where the Courageous Leadership Incubator comes in. We are pleased to announce that we have matched a cohort of 16 up-and-comers in our community with 16 forward-looking community organizations, offering these individuals mentoring and invaluable experience as non-voting board members, starting this fall and lasting through June 2022. Mentees also will gather for cohort-based learning with Shalom Hartman Institute educators and will receive tailored, 1:1 professional coaching with Heather Wolfson, CEO and Lead Strategist at Maven Consulting.
We are so excited to welcome the cohort to the Incubator program: Rachel Aronovich, Rachel Blum, Talia Etsekson, Josh Friedmann, Jacob Gelb, Mia Goetz, Gavriella Gold, Lena Kelly, Hilary Lichterman, Brad Lowenstein, Makena Mezistrano, Gina Newman, Jason Okrent, Blaire Shainsky, Phil Spitzer, and Eryk Waligora.
Jewish Puget Sound faces many unprecedented challenges. Engaging imaginative and courageous leaders will be crucial for turning opportunities into action that will ignite Jewish life and help our community grow as a magnet for Jewish life