Young Leadership Program

Join The Birmingham Jewish Federation’s Young Leadership Program

Launched in February 2022, this year-long leadership experience takes young Jewish members of our community through a dynamic process that will enhance their lives and enrich our community. The program culminates in a free 7- day trip to Israel for participants who complete the program criteria. This program has been generously underwritten in part by The Birmingham Jewish Foundation.

How the program works

Limited to 18 participants, members of our community may be nominated by local Rabbis and community agency heads. Self-nominations will also be accepted. A panel will select participants through an application and interview process. Community leaders will facilitate the sessions- sharing their expertise and passion for Judaism and our community.

Upon completion of the program, participants must agree to serve on a Jewish communal board or committee, and make a $180 donation to a Jewish organization of his/her choice. Participants may only miss one class.

 2022-2023 Young Leadership Cohort

  • Andrew Newcomb
  • Aaron Nelson
  • Alex Grodner
  • Isa Dorsky
  • Kent Haines
  • Andrew Miller
  • Rachel Mazer
  • Nadav Raviv
  • Carlie Stein Somerville
  • Sarah Schaeffer
  • Danielle Rosenbaum
  • Mark Schaeffer
  • Sarah Kunin
  • Alex Wittner

Be on the lookout for when our next cohort applications open

Interested in learning more about Young Leadership?

Past Leadership Development Program Curriculum

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Opening retreat 10:00am-4:00pm
2100-B Southbridge Pkwy, Suite 490

Dr. Lisa Graham, an organizational and industrial psychologist, will facilitate a day long retreat where we will have the opportunity to get to know each other, discuss the work we will be doing over the next 12 months, and examine the concept of leadership from both secular and Jewish perspectives. As part of the retreat, Maury Shevin, an attorney and life- long member, of our Jewish community will take us on a guided tour of Jewish Birmingham sharing history and fun facts about our Jewish community.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Session 1 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Chabad House 3040 Overton Road

Take an in-depth look at the history of the Jewish people with Rabbi Yossi
Friedman. The history of the Jews and Judaism can be divided into six periods with some overlap.

  1. The era of the Patriarchs/Matriarchs – pre-Sinai (3800-3300 years ago).
  2. Moses/Sinai/The wilderness – (about 1300 BC).
  3. The Monarchy and The First and The Second Temple eras – (around 1000 years, ending at the start of the common era).
  4. Rabbinic Judaism – The Mishna and the Talmud (2nd century BCE – 10th century CE).
  5. The Early Authorities – Judaism moves to Europe (10th century to 16th century).
  6. The Present- the span of diverse sects

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Session 2 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Knesseth Israel 3100 Overton Road

Everything you need to know about Judaism that you didn’t learn in Sunday School! Rabbi Moshe Rube, Knesseth Israel, Cantor Robby Wittner, Temple Emanu-El, and Rabbi Brian Glusman, Director of Engagement at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta will answer your questions about the beliefs and practices of Judaism.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Session 3 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Levite Jewish Community Center 3960 Montclair Road

With antisemitism on the rise, we must educate ourselves and act. Randy Crohn, Deputy Regional Director of Southeast Region of the Anti -Defamation League will facilitate a discussion on how to combat antisemitism. Joyce Shevin, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Consultant will discuss the role JCRC plays in our community.

No sessions in June or July

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Session 4 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Levite Jewish Community Center 3960 Montclair Road

The American Jewish Community- Is it necessary to have a Jewish Community Center, a Jewish Family Services, a Federation, a Jewish Day School and other Jewish agencies when Birmingham already has a strong United Way, other social service agencies and excellent public school systems? Suzanne Bearman and Micky Rubenstein, long- time community leaders, will share the genesis of our Jewish agencies and guide us in a discussion.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Session 5 6:00pm teshuvah (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Temple Beth-El 2179 Highland Avenue

The High Holidays give us the opportunity to search our souls and to change. The new Rabbi at Temple Beth-El and Caryn Corenblum, a Certified Life Coach and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, will discuss the concept of teshuvah (turning) and guide us in how to apply this to our individual and communal lives.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Session 6 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Birmingham Holocaust Education Center
2100 Highland Ave (in the Sukkah)

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, approximately two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population. This was, and continues to be, one of the darkest periods in Jewish history. Jonathan Wiesen, Chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of History, and Esther Levy, whose mother, Toby Gerson, was a survivor, will share their knowledge with us.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Session 7 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
N.E. Miles Jewish Day School 4000 Montclair Road

Lisa Engel, immediate past president of BJF, and Amy Saag, current BJF President will facilitate a discussion on what it means to be part of a community. How do we conduct ourselves and what are our responsibilities?

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Session 8 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
CARES Building 3794 Crosshaven Drive

There are people who hear, but don’t really hear; they hear something, but they only hear the words, they don’t hear the ‘voice’ behind the words. Those who lead others must understand that the essence of good communication is active and deep listening. Lauren Schwartz, the Executive Director of Collat Jewish Family Services, will facilitate a discussion on the importance of listening and guide us in techniques to improve our listening skills.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Session 9 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
N.E. Miles Jewish Day School 4000 Montclair Road

Now that we understand what it means to be a leader, what are our responsibilities as a committee or board member? Danny Cohn, CEO of the BJF, and Joel Piassick, long time community volunteer, will teach us the roles and responsibilities of a Board member-including how to conduct a meeting, read a budget and make a fundraising ask.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Session 10 6:00pm (Dinner) 6:30-8:30pm
Temple Emanu-El 2100 Highland Avenue

Just barely bigger than the State of New Jersey, Israel is said to be one of the most misunderstood countries in the world and receives an enormous amount of both positive and negative news coverage. Rabbi Adam Wright, Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, will delve into the history and meaning of the State of Israel. Additionally, Lisa Graham will lead us in a discussion to integrate what we have learned this year.

Friday, March 7, 2023

End of Program Celebration Shabbat Dinner 5:30pm
Chabad House 3040 Overton Road

Shabbat is our opportunity to rejuvenate ourselves in order to continue our work to repair the world. Sharron Swain, Rebecca Rothman, and Miriam Friedman will teach us how to use Shabbat as a spiritual tool of leadership. This will be an experiential session where we will celebrate a Shabbat together and enjoy a delightful Shabbat meal. Additionally, we will go over some details regarding our upcoming trip to Israel–what to bring, travel arrangements, and much more!

Inaugural Young Leadership Cohort in Israel