Greater Hartford Jewish Leadership Academy to Launch This Fall

WEST HARTFORD, CONN. (July 26, 2017) – Greater Hartford’s Jewish community will have an innovative new resource for values-based leadership development when the Greater Hartford Jewish Leadership Academy launches this fall. The Academy will draw on local and national leadership best practices and engage top experts in the field to create a pipeline of leaders for local organizations. It will be developed and managed by the Commission on Jewish Education and Leadership of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, with major support from the Jewish Community Foundation and additional support from the Auerbach-Schiro Foundation, Lea and Richard Rubenstein, Sandy and Arnie Dashefsky, and Federation. 

Eric Zachs, the Federation’s outgoing Board Chair, said, “The Jewish Leadership Academy will be the place where existing leaders are strengthened and new leaders are trained, ensuring that our Jewish community is powered by knowledgeable, competent and collaborative lay leaders who are prepared to lead with vision into the future.”
Cary Lakenbach, the Federation’s incoming Board Chair, added that “we will not only be preparing leaders to fill existing roles in Greater Hartford's synagogues, schools and organizations, we’ll also be preparing them to envision, launch and manage the initiatives of tomorrow.”
“The Academy will be unique in two ways,” noted Heather Fiedler, the Federation’s Associate Vice President for Jewish Education and Leadership.  “First, it will prepare leaders with adaptive skills to serve a constantly evolving community.  Second, it will work with each participant to develop an Individualized Leadership Plan that builds on his or her individual strengths and interests. Each Academy participant will have a unique leadership journey supported by a network of experts and coaches, through the lens of Jewish values and texts,” she added. 

Federation launched the local Jewish community’s first formal leadership development program more than 30 years ago. The new Academy is the result of 18 months of work by Federation’s leadership development team, chaired by Alan Parker. It will serve Jewish communal lay and professional leaders who want to hone their skills, community members considering Jewish communal leadership roles now or in the future, and those who want to learn how Jewish values can help them become better leaders at work or in an organization they care about.

Several programs are planned for the fall, including a Community Leadership Forum about civil discourse, a yearlong Community Leadership Initiative, and a Presidents' Circle for lay leaders of agencies, schools, and synagogues. To learn more, please contact Heather Fiedler, the Federation’s Associate Vice President for Jewish Education and Leadership, at 860.727.6121 or


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