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Community Leadership Institute Graduates Reflect on Their Experience

Graduation from our Federation’s Community Leadership Institute (CLI) was Sunday, March 15th. Over the past 15 months, 66 leaders-in-training attended workshops, met with mentors and developed the skills they need to succeed as effective leaders in the Jewish community—and beyond. Here’s what one CLI graduate had to say: 

I have been immersed in the Los Angeles Jewish community since the day I was born. From Hebrew school to Jewish day school to United Synagogue Youth, Camp Ramah, Birthright Israel, weekends at Brandeis-Bardin and more, I’ve been around this Jewish block more than a few times.

This past weekend, while sitting under the tent at my graduation ceremony from The Jewish Federation’s Community Leadership Institute, I thought back on my experiences over the past three decades. Each of them, I realized, were bound together by one common truth:

Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh.

That is, all of Israel are responsible for each other.

This ancient Talmudic phrase has served as the basis for the notion of communal responsibility in Jewish law. As I see it, each individual in this community is but one link in the chain of Jewish continuity; we are afforded a task which bears great responsibility. But for those who engage, the benefits are endless.

Participating as a CLI fellow over the past 15 months has brought to light the vast richness of the Jewish community. We are a community of winners—a conscientious group of individuals who continuously transform the landscape of this city for the better. Bright, engaged, informed, connected, generous, responsible human beings—that’s who we are.

As I move on to the next steps in my Jewish involvement, I do so with great confidence knowing I have created a remarkable network of supporters around me. It has been the greatest honor of my life to be a link in the chain of the Jewish community. I have been humbled by its generosity and I look forward to giving back ten-fold.

Here’s what some of my cohorts had to say about CLI:

I knew that my role at AJU with the Moriah Society (a real estate networking organization) would be growing, so I decided to join CLI to learn the skills necessary to be an influential lay leader. I will officially take over as chair in June 2015, and I definitely feel that CLI gave me a great foundation for how I want to lead. – Ben Cherney

I developed a great relationship with my mentor who introduced me to AIPAC, supported my personal and professional development and growth, and encouraged me to explore different leadership roles and opportunities. – Dina Brevdo

Now, more than ever, I feel empowered to connect with the right people in our community to affect change. – Rachel Richman

The Community Leadership Institute will be accepting applications from April 15th-May 15th for our 2015 program. For more information, visit www.JewishLA.org/cli or contact Gamal Palmer at CLI@JewishLA.org.

 

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