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Community Leadership Institute (CLI)

CLI has helped me refine the skills I needed to feel confident in a leadership role in my community. I have developed a lot of my leadership skills through this program’s sessions and curriculum and have found ways to apply my learnings in real life situations.” – Sarah Herman, Class of 2021, Member of JFEDLA’s NuRoots Committee and Los Angeles Regional JNF Board

“It’s rare to meet the kinds of highly-charged young professionals from diverse backgrounds who want to pursue tikkun olam that you do in CLI. The program prepares emerging philanthropists to be leaders on boards in a practical, process–oriented, and unique way. Going to Israel on an immersive mission was a true highlight given the high-quality speakers, special VIP guests, and insights into the work we do in Israel and abroad.” – Warren Coughlin, CLI Class of 2021, Chair of Emerging Philanthropists Campaign Cabinet and JFEDLA Board of Directors Observer.


JFEDLA values the development and growth of the community’s next generation of movers & shakers, board members, and change agents. The Community Leadership Institute (CLI) was created to cultivate forward thinking, highly effective, and philanthropic volunteer leaders for JFEDLA, our Los Angeles Jewish community organizations, and the entire nonprofit sector. We need a vibrant and diverse network of emerging leaders to help us solve the complex challenges facing the L.A. Jewish community today and for the next 50 years. 

CLI is a highly selective community leadership development program for passionate Jewish individuals committed to expanding and leveraging their capacity for impact across L.A. We welcome applicants from diverse Jewish backgrounds, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and ability. JFEDLA is committed to creating a diverse cohort of individuals who bring varied life experiences to the program. 

Over one year, CLIers will receive opportunities to grow their leadership skills through a unique blend of facilitated curriculum, hands-on experiential learning, mentorship, high-access professional networking, and a trip to Israel. Alongside a network of other talented peers, participants graduate with a deepened understanding of how to lead systemic change and make positive impact through philanthropy and nonprofit board service across Jewish Los Angeles. 


Program components include:

  • Opening Retreat: A weekend-long getaway that serves as an opportunity to start cohort bonding and take in the program’s roadmap. 
  • Sessions: Our sessions, led by inspiring facilitators, will dive into core areas like: 
    • Jewish Journey and Literacy: No matter how Jewish or Jew-ish you are, how do you exhibit your leadership through a Jewish lens?  
    • Personal Development: How do you develop your personal leadership style to actualize your vision as a leader in the community?  
    • Leadership Skills: Can you inspire others to take action to address community challenges? Can you work collaboratively to make decisions and resolve conflict? 
    • Philanthropy: How do your Jewish values influence the philanthropic impact you want to make? 
    • Governance: What does it really look like to sit on a board or committee? 
  • Mentorship: Participants are paired with a mentor — a seasoned member of a Jewish nonprofit board or committee — to help them shape their ideas, grapple with hard questions, and learn how to align their personal, professional and volunteer goals. 
  • Jewish Social Events: Participants will come together for Shabbat dinners and join in other offerings around the holidays. 
  • Immersive Israel Trip: Our 10-day experience is a high-access leadership lab in Israel where participants meet with and learn from the entrepreneurs, political and religious leaders, social activists, and community builders who are at the helm of actions and decisions on a global scale. 
  • Closing Retreat: This full-day event explores the skills, knowledge, and network gained, while also covering the ways individual participants and the cohort as a whole will use these assets in the future.  

Outcomes of the program include: 

  • Recognizing your own leadership strengths, while developing new skills. 
  • Mastering how to be a thoughtful, strategic, and powerful philanthropist. 
  • Understanding the Los Angeles Jewish nonprofit ecosystem and how Israel plays a role. 
  • Discovering how JFEDLA puts the values of Jewish Los Angeles in action. 
  • Accessing our network of seasoned mentors and 300+ leadership program alumni. 
  • Having a meaningful Jewish experience while exploring your own identity. 
  • Learning how to turn Jewish experiences and values into action. 
  • Being a part of an impressive, diverse cohort of impact-driven Jewish Angelenos. 

Other highlights of participation: 

  • During your time in the program, you will be a part of JFEDLA’s Ben Gurion Society (BGS), JFEDLA’s community for emerging philanthropists giving $1,000 or more to JFEDLA’s Annual Campaign. Being a part of BGS means you get access to homes, speakers, and our top leaders. There are numerous opportunities to meet, network, and connect with high-level people in an exclusive environment — all through the lens of the work of JFEDLA. 
  • You will gain exclusive access to JFEDLA’s six professionals networks. JFEDLA brings together the city’s most successful industry professionals and emerging leaders for networking, dynamic idea exchanges, events featuring prominent speakers, and participation in specialized trips. In addition to industry-specific events, the JFEDLA also creates cross-network opportunities that allow professionals to connect across the diverse business landscape of Jewish L.A. 

Who is a CLI participant? 

CLI is for passionate individuals who: 

  • Have already demonstrated leadership experience (professional, volunteer, or academic) 
  • Are committed to learning about all facets of being a Jewish community leader (philanthropy, board and committee involvement, Jewish learning, etc.) 
  • Want to deepen their understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the Los Angeles Jewish community  
  • Want to expand their personal and professional networks 
  • Are between the ages of 30 and 42 
  • Live in Los Angeles 
  • Are comfortable and able to meet in-person for all program components 

What is the cost? 

Accepted candidates will be required to submit a $500 program fee at the start of CLI. In addition, participants will be expected to make a $1,000 tax-deductible charitable donation per calendar year of the program ($1,000 in 2024 and $1,000 in 2025) to JFEDLA. These payments cover all aspects of the program including monthly sessions, high-profile speakers, special events, meals, and the Israel trip. 

Do not let financial concerns prevent you from applying. Subsidies are available. If you have questions, let us know

Program timeline 

Applications open: March 1, 2024 
Applications close: April 19, 2024 
Decisions released: June 2024 
Opening retreat: August 23-25, 2024  
Israel trip: Spring 2025 (confirmed dates coming soon) 
Closing Retreat: Summer 2025 (confirmed dates coming soon) 

Applications for the Class of 2025 are now open! Selected applicants will be invited to interview on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible. 

How to apply 

  1. Go to https://jewishla.spectrumportal.net/ to log in or register to create an account 
  1. While registering, select “Individual Applicant” under “Portal Access” and fill out the rest 
  1. Once registered or logged in, click the “Individual Applicant” tab at the top, where you’ll see the “CLI Application Class of ’25” link 

Questions? Email CLI@JewishLA.org  

Know someone who would be great for CLI? Nominate them!

Imagine being a part of a carefully curated, access expanding cohort – a tight-knit, extraordinary family of diverse, young leaders from different backgrounds, each bringing their own unique, passionate thinking to help solve the greatest challenges facing the Jewish community today. 

CLI provides young adults (ages 30-42) with robust leadership and philanthropic skill-building opportunities. CLI participants learn to leverage their motivation and passion to lead the future of our Jewish community. 

CLI is highly experiential, requiring participants to engage with their cohort and stakeholders to push their own and each other’s boundaries across five core areas: Jewish Journey and Literacy, Personal Development, Leadership Skills, Philanthropy, and Governance. While expanding their individual and collective abilities to better understand their surroundings and themselves, participants will also gain new insight into the challenges facing the Los Angeles Jewish community, solutions to those challenges, and how to better collaborate with others to make positive change and impact in their communities. As a community leadership program, participants will graduate ready to serve on nonprofit boards and committees. 

CLI’s proven model for Jewish community leadership development sets it apart. At the core of CLI’s programming is the belief that meaningful impact comes from collaboration across organizations with shared interest and dedication to the Jewish community. Participants gain exclusive insight and access to JFEDLA’s wealth of knowledge and experience in this work and the work of thousands of partners across Los Angeles. 

CLI will simultaneously enhance the participants’ knowledge about themselves and others, about the opportunities and challenges facing the Los Angeles Jewish community, and how they can individually, collectively as a network, and through organizations, impact and improve communities in a positive way. 

The program is designed to be entirely in person. JFEDLA is committed to ensuring safe gatherings and programs. 

We understand that everyone is at a different place in their life, and we do not want the program’s costs or expected contribution to deter strong applicants from applying. Please apply, and should you be accepted, we will work closely with you to find a solution that works for all parties. 

Applications are online and include basic background information, free response questions, and a resume. Select applicants will be invited to a virtual interview, and final decisions will be announced in the following months. 

Participants are expected to attend all components of the program including monthly sessions, retreats, and the 10-day trip to Israel. We also understand that unavoidable conflicts do arise. We encourage you to apply for the program, and we can address your concerns together should you be accepted. 

If you turn 30 sometime during the 12 months of the program, you are eligible to apply. 

Otherwise, we’d love to connect you with other great opportunities at JFEDLA! E-mail us at CLI@JewishLA.org and we’d be more than happy to make some introductions and point you in the right direction. 

Alumni of JFEDLA leadership cohort experiences are not eligible to apply. The only exception is if you received a college scholarship through our Brawerman Fellowship. Past Brawerman Fellows are eligible to apply. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.