The Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute

The Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute is an online and in-person educational leadership program for emerging Jewish Community Center leaders.

Fellows in the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI), who are mid- to senior-level professionals at Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) throughout North America, learn to apply Jewish frameworks to their vision, day-to-day management, and their own leadership identity.

The JCC Association is partnered with the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary for cohort 1 of this exciting fellowship that launched in March 2012 and continues until May 2013.

JELI Cohort 2 has recently been announced. It will commence in October 2013 and continue through March 2015.

JELI is funded with generous support from the Jim Joseph Foundation.

JELI Program Goals

Provide emerging JCC leaders with the opportunity for personal, professional, and spiritual growth

Develop the capacity of JCC professionals to view leadership and management through a Jewish lens, covering topics in Jewish ethics, values, thought, and related concepts

Create a shared language and a community of colleagues who weave Jewish values and ethics into the vision and practice of their JCC, departments, and programs

Contribute to the career enhancement and advancement of professionals fostering the success of Jewish experiential education programs and organizations


JELI Fellows

JECLI at JCCA Biennial Conference

JELI Program Components

Monthly online workshops:

Each monthly workshop includes a 60 to 90 minute webinar, reading assignments, and projects. These assignments require approximately a two-to-three-hour per week commitment.

Four in-person seminars:

Fellows in JELI cohort 2 will attend an in-person retreat in New York City in November 2013, the JCC Biennial Conference in San Diego, CA April 29 to May 2 2014; a Shabbat retreat in Fall 2014; and the JCC Professional Conference in Spring 2015.


Fellows are assigned an individual program advisor who provides guidance and mentorship throughout the program. Advisor, who will also act as JELI faculty, help to expand and strengthen fellows' leadership and management skills through a series of meetings, conversations, and collaborative projects.

Independent Project:

Each fellow completes a meaningful project to both demonstrate his or her personal and professional growth within JELI, and to add value to his or her JCC.

JELi Fellow Marshall Kurland JELI Fellows Share Reflections at the JCCA Biennial Conference

Cohort Learning:

Fellows interact with each other frequently throughout the program, allowing for multiple opportunities of cohort-based learning and sharing.


For more information on the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute, please contact: Mark S. Young, program coordinator of The Davidson School Experiential Learning Initiative, at (212) 678-8852 or email