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CLI Connections Bring Passion Project to Life

I recently graduated from The Jewish Federation’s Community Leadership Institute (CLI) as part of the program’s Entertainment track, and it’s been an amazing experience. 

As part of my organizational landscape project, I met Asher Gellis, the Executive Director of JQ International, a local nonprofit that builds and strengthens a community that nurtures a healthy fusion of LGBTQ and Jewish identities. Asher, who was able to launch JQ International through the Federation’s PresenTenseLA fellowship, gave me some very important advice about a program that I, too, was hoping to participate in. (I am now currently a PresenTenseLA fellow.)

I really wanted to take my passion project, JenLA (Jewish Entertainment Network Los Angeles), to the next level. Asher guided me on setting up an advisory board and submitting JenLA for nonprofit status. He shared with me his own journey in establishing a board and the potential pitfalls I might encounter. His advice and example has been inspiring and instrumental in growing JenLA.

Although I’ve already graduated from CLI, my mentor, Marc Graboff, is still helping me move JenLA forward, and sits on my advisory committee. He is also coordinating with leading entertainment professionals to facilitate speaker events for Jewish Angelenos in the industry. And, as Asher advised, I have started the process of achieving nonprofit status.

Without CLI, who knows where JenLA would be today? The connections I made through this program, both with my mentors and my peers, have set me up for success and made it possible for me to mature my passion project to the next stage of growth.

Exclusively for young adults between the ages of 25-40, CLI is the top-tier program that provides young professionals with the skills, training, development and networks to launch into a lifetime of success. By participating in four highly competitive, specialized tracks—Universal, Real Estate, Entertainment and Russian Jewish Community—participants expand their personal and professional networks while gaining critical skills that will help them become leaders in our Jewish community and beyond.

Applications for our next cohort are being accepted through May 15, 2015.

Learn More & Apply Now

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