“Like anything worth doing, leading Jewish institutions is not easy,” Felicia Herman wrote recently in SAPIR. “It involves fundraising, board-building, figuring out ways to deliver services more effectively, making Jewish organizations great and rewarding places to work, and holding together diverse, argumentative communities while making them warm, welcoming, and inclusive.”
Jewish communal leaders have always needed to manage competing agendas from stakeholders with different opinions. Recently, leaders have faced more challenges than usual, thanks to living and working at a time of amplified divisions, heightened emotions, and intensified public scrutiny. Differences of opinion and mistakes that might once have been managed internally and interpersonally are now debated on social media, Slack channels, WhatsApp groups, and in the media. In addition to striking the right note about Israel or religious pluralism, today’s leaders must also adeptly navigate a broad swath of nuanced issues with unprecedented levels of diplomacy and sensitivity.
Felicia Herman, Managing Director of Maimonides Fund and Associate Editor of SAPIR: Ideas for a Thriving Jewish Future, wrote about many of these issues in the provocative new essay quoted above, We’re All Just Waiting to Get Fired.
Join JPro for an honest conversation between Felicia and two other longtime communal leaders and JPro Board members, Erika B. Rudin-Luria, President of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and Cheryl Cook, CEO of Avodah, about the many challenges facing Jewish communal leaders and how leaders can behave and respond in a time of increased polarization. Context and framing by Doron Krakow, President and CEO of JCC Association of North America.