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The NLP Kickoff: One Weekend with the Power to Change the Future of Los Angeles

When 24 young men and women traveled to Brandeis-Bardin on January 5 for the Rautenberg New Leaders Program Weekend Retreat, they arrived as a group of individuals, each of whom wanted to make their mark on the civic space of Los Angeles. By the time they headed back to their lives as busy professionals, they were a cohort, excited to spend a year learning, growing, and acquiring the skills that will help them change the future of our city — together.

For over 25 years, NLP has been serving our greater community by attracting the best and the brightest for this premier civic leadership program. Alumni have successfully run for office, been appointed to government commissions, and become influential in Los Angeles civic life. The Class of 2018 includes 12 men and 12 women, all of whom are at the top of their game professionally, with each one more passionate than the next about confronting issues like homelessness, gentrification, affordable housing — and about making L.A. a better city.

The kickoff weekend included a Shabbat dinner and service led by Rabbi Noah Farkas, a keynote with California State Senator Ben Allen (himself an NLP alum), and a session with 10 other alumni who joined the group to share how they have taken what they learned and made a difference. Federation professionals Becky Sobelman-Stern, Executive Vice President/Chief Program Officer, and Alisa Finsten, Senior Vice President/Director of Community Engagement, welcomed the group as they enjoyed the excitement of getting to know one another and discovering what the year of study, service, and community would offer.

During 2018, the cohort will hear from prominent community leaders, scholars, and elected officials at interactive monthly sessions to include leadership skill building, civic education, and hands-on learning through community service opportunities and participation in JPAC Advocacy Day in Sacramento. A large-scale NLP alumni event is planned for April, when professionals from all 25 years of this remarkable program will come together to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of their peers.

Applications for the Federation’s 2019 Rautenberg New Leaders Project will open in September.  Young professionals between ages 27-40 who are already involved in community building and want to take their commitment to the next level should contact Mary Kohav at MKohav@JewishLA.org for more information.

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