Faces of Federation

An Interview with CLI Participant Shirley Pakdaman


Shirley Pakdaman recently participated in The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Community Leadership Institute (CLI) and shares her experience with us! Applications are NOW OPEN — apply today!

Why would you recommend CLI to your peers?


If they care about community, Judaism, or making positive changes for others and meeting like-minded new friends.

What was one of the most memorable parts of your CLI experience?

Connecting with awesome peers over exploring our Federation’s meaningful work here and in Israel.

What is something you learned in CLI that you think other 25-40-year-olds would find valuable?

That you don’t have to be incredibly wealthy to be a philanthropist and that your energy and ideas are valued within organizations you want to support.

How has CLI impacted your vision of your future?

My vision of the future is broader. I can imagine more opportunities and experiences coming my way because of the connections and insights I’ve gained over the course of this program.

What surprised you most about being a participant of CLI or being involved in Federation’s work?

The breadth and variety of Federation’s partnerships and initiatives are astounding. I’m grateful that we have such a vibrant and active Federation here in L.A.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is a competitive 15-month program. CLI provides young adults ages 25-40 robust skill-building opportunities and meaningful connections with which to leverage their motivation and passion to lead the future of our Jewish community.

Paired with seasoned mentors, participants attend an opening retreat and monthly sessions, travel to Israel for an unforgettable 10-day experience, and collaborate on group projects. CLIers graduate with a deepened understanding of and connection to the local and global Jewish community.

Learn more about the program at one of our six information sessions spanning from March 12-27th! Applications are open March 4th-29th. Visit www.yaJewishLA.org/CLI or email CLI@JewishLA.org for details/questions.