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An Interview with CLI Participant Louis Evans

The Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is a highly competitive training program for the future leaders of Jewish institutions and non-profit organizations across Los Angeles. An incredible opportunity for young professionals ages 25-40, this 15-month leadership training program provides the tools, knowledge, and connections needed to become an effective leader of the Jewish community. CLI participants attend monthly meetings and workshops, honing their leadership skills, and learning all about Jewish non-profit initiatives in L.A. They travel to Israel with other participants, deepen their connection to the global and local Jewish communities, and cultivate relationships with esteemed leaders of the Jewish community. CLI supports them on their journey to become one of the next great leaders of the Jewish community of L.A.

We recently interviewed Louis Evans about his CLI experience thus far.

What motivated you to apply for CLI?

As a millennial Jew, I haven’t found many worthwhile opportunities for people my age to both network and be involved in leadership opportunities that carry a positive impact on our community. Wanting to reconnect with my Judaism and accomplish these things, I saw CLI as the perfect fit for me. I’ve made some amazing friends and connections so far and am learning how to contribute to something that matters.

What track of CLI are you in? What do you do professionally?

I’m in the real estate track. I’m in residential and commercial sales and private aviation (chartering, sales, concierge).

What inspires you about the Jewish and larger communities?

What inspires me about the Jewish community is its values. There is an inherent drive to help those less fortunate by whatever means possible. Having come from a family who struggles financially, this subject is very close to me. Through our research project, I’ve learned about so many programs that solely exist to help those in need — programs I’d never heard of.

What sessions have you found to be most the interesting/moving?

The session I found most interesting was the Organizational Speed Conversations night in which various Jewish organizations set up educational stations. I had the opportunity to learn about many philanthropies with amazing causes that I otherwise would have never known existed. From this, I was connected with the group that I ended up choosing for my Organizational Landscape Project and will continue my involvement with past the scope of this program.

What has been your favorite part about CLI?

Meeting new people. I’ve made some great friends as well as some great connections, both through the mentors and program participants. My favorite events are those in which all tracks are grouped together.

How has CLI impacted you in your career or personal development journey?

Personally, being in CLI has given me more exposure to philanthropic organizations. Meeting people within my industry helps for obvious reasons, but the access we have to these mentors is also amazing. I’ve become more involved in volunteering and giving back recently, and being a part of a program that emphasizes those values has inspired me to do more.

What is one lesson you have learned since being a part of CLI?

That there are many different ways to give back — more than just financially. There are various opportunities in L.A. (and beyond) focused on helping others, and it’s easy to get involved.

To learn more about CLI, visit www.YAJewishLA.org/CLI.

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