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Certificate in Jewish Leadership 2018 Cohort Begins

Certificate in Jewish Leadership 2018 Cohort Begins

Sunday, October 28, 2018 - 12:00 pm


Now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 cohort of the
Certificate in Jewish Leadership.
Begins October 28, 2018.
Apply now

Presented by Spertus Institute in partnership with Northwestern University, the Certificate in Jewish Leadership enhances the professional abilities of Jewish leaders.

Traditionally, Jewish leadership programs have focused either on management skills or Jewish literacy. In this program, leadership training is taught within a distinctively Jewish context.

Together with a cohort of experienced colleagues serving Jewish communities worldwide, participants learn to:

  • Strengthen their own leadership styles
  • Communicate and collaborate within and across organizations, even in difficult situations
  • Manage change
  • Inspire excellence
  • Achieve goals

To make participation available to participants worldwide, the program is presented through a combination of online content and onsite seminars at the Spertus Institute campus in Chicago (one seminar in the fall, one in the spring). Taught by senior Northwestern University and Spertus Institute faculty, the program concludes with one-on-one mentoring sessions with established community leaders. 

The full cost of the program is $2,500. This includes the Leadership Assessment and Mentor Match, but does not include travel or accommodations. Scholarship opportunities may be available for qualified employees of Jewish organizations. Inquire to find out more.

This is a selective enrollment program. Applicants should have five or more years of professional experience, a bachelor's degree or the equivalent, and a strong commitment to developing and fulfilling their professional potential. 

Interested in finding out if this program is right for you?

Request Information

Or contact Director of Enrollment Anita Silvert

Chicago seminars take place
October 28-30, 2018 and March 3-5, 2019 

The curriculum is a four-course sequence, followed by capstone conversation and one-on-one mentorship. Participants proceed through the curriculum as a cohort, which provides opportunities for peer learning and networking.

Fall 2018 Seminar

Course 1: Models of Jewish Leadership
Dr. Hal M. Lewis, President and CEO, Spertus Institute
Sunday, October 28, 2018
12:00 pm Welcome Lunch
1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monday, October 29, 2018
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Course 2: Collaboration
Dr. Gail Berger Darlow, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
Monday, October 29, 2018
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Spring 2019 Seminar

Couse 3: Communications for Leaders
Aleen Bayard, Aleen Bayard Inc., Adjunct Faculty, Northwestern University
Sunday, March 3, 2019
12:00 pm Welcome Lunch
1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Monday, March 4, 2019
9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Course 4: Leading People Though Change
Dr. Russ Rogers, Director, School for New Learning Graduate Programs at DePaul University
Monday, March 4, 2019
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Certificate Reception
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Online Capstone Conversation 
Dr. Hal M. Lewis, Chancellor, Spertus Institute 
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

About Northwestern University

  • Preeminent university recognized internationally as a hallmark of academic excellence.
  • Provides students with exceptional opportunities for intellectual, professional, and personal growth.
  • Instructors bring outstanding academic credentials and relevant professional experience to the classroom to create a highly interactive, collaborative, and challenging learning environment.
  • Students study with peers who have rich, diverse backgrounds and can provide lifelong learning connections.

About Spertus Institute

  • Long and rich history of innovative programming that serves the needs of Jewish educators and communal professionals.
  • Outstanding, diverse, and non-denominational offerings are multifaceted, grounded in Jewish thought, inspired by Jewish values, and resolutely relevant to contemporary life.
  • Graduate-level degree programs, professional certificates, and workshops blend theory and practice and are taught by leading faculty with real-world experience.
  • Serves students around the globe through on-campus and distance-learning programs.

Learning Outcomes

To earn the certificate, participants must complete all four modules and the capstone. Participants who complete the certificate program will be able to:

  • Analyze, explain, and model what it means to be an effective leader by drawing upon Jewish scholarship, classical texts, and best practices
  • Apply ethical principles based on Jewish traditions into daily leadership practices
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key qualities of effective leadership based on contemporary leadership theory
  • Develop a repertoire of supervisory, conflict resolution, and change management skills
  • Implement strategies and techniques for effective collaboration, team building, and communication
  • Synthesize what is learned in this program to solve problems within the organization(s) with which the participant works

Spertus Institute Certificate in Jewish Leadership 2017

Certificate in Jewish Leadership International 2017 immediately above:
Back row left to right: Derek Greeley, Adath Emanu-El, Mount Laurel, NJ | Max Preschel, Confederacion de Asociaciones Israelitas, Caracas, Venezuela | Kyle Stone, Illinois Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL | Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Philadelphia, PA | Michael Schneider, Congregation Solel, Highland Park, IL | Abigail Salisbury, Temple Sinai, Pittsburgh, PA | Rena Boroditzky, Chesed Shel Emes, Winnipeg, Manitoba | Levi Zeffren, NSCY, Chicago, IL | Dr. Dean P. Bell, President and CEO, Spertus Institute. Front row: Erica Wilke Bova, Assistant Dean, Northwestern University's School of Professional Studies, Evanston, IL | Moshe Lencer, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, Indianapolis, IN | Rabbi Janice Elster, Beth Sholom Synagogue, Toronto, Ontario; Michelle Lawner, JUF/Jewish Federation, Chicago, IL | Justine Saidman, PJ Library and Jewish Writers’ Festival, Sydney, Australia | Lynne Lieberman, Friedman Commission for Jewish Education, West Palm Beach, FL | Doug Winkelstein, BBYO, Chicago, IL. Not pictured: Laurence Bolotin, Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity, Chicago, IL | Margaux Friend, Lakeside Congregation, Highland Park, IL | Ariel Lapson, Ta’am Yisrael, JUF/Jewish Federation, Chicago, IL | Michael Markman, Spertus Institute and PwC, Chicago, IL | Susan Solomon, Sinai Congregation, Chicago, IL.

Certificate In Jewish Leadership Chicago 2016 top of page:
Left to right: Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen, University of Chicago Hillel | Alec Ross, Youth Centers of Israel/Keren Yaldenu | Betsy Gomberg, Spertus Institute | Peter Bensinger, Sr., Morneau Shepell | Jane Charney, Jewish Community Relations Council | Jason Peltz, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP and Trustee, Jewish United Fund | Dr. Linda Mathias Kaskel, Trustee, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation | Silvia Testa, NBC Universal Hispanic Group and Women’s Network, NBCU | Not pictured: Allan Bogan, BBYO | Sherrie Weiss, Trustee, Florence Melton School of Adult Learning and Friends of the IDF | Troy Zukowski, Choices for Change and Trustee, Temple B’nai Israel. 


"I gained business skills, collaboration skills, and greater self-awareness."
— Susan Levin-Abir, Director of Development, Hadassah, South Florida

“Provided both theoretical and practical underpinnings to help me bolster my ability to communicate and leverage my strength as part of a team. I see the program as essential to my advancement as a professional.”
— Jane Charney, Director of Domestic Affairs, Jewish Community Relations Council

I have been able to take what I learned in each class and use it to enhance the work I do professionally.”
— Michael Waitz, North American Director, Shorashim

“...taught me to be more effective as a leader.”
— Sheri Hokin, Trustee, Jewish Women's Foundation

“I strongly recommend this program to lay and professional leaders in the Jewish community.”
— Shalom Klein, Vice President, Moshe Klein and Associates and Director, Jewish B2B Networking

Apply now


This program has been developed for established and emerging leaders (including lay leaders) of Jewish organizations.

To date, we have served leaders of organizations focused on social service, philanthropy, education, culture, and advocacy.

We have found that newly promoted managers and directors — and the organizations they serve — have much to gain from this program.

Consultants and professionals working outside the Jewish community will also find the program offers benefits to their work through its focus on best practices in a Jewish context.


Mentoring is a unique and essential aspect of this program.

Each CJL Fellow is assigned a professional mentor who has extensive senior-level Jewish leadership experience. Mentors work closely with Fellows to identify areas for professional growth, discuss professional challenges, and help foster professional application of the program's content.

Mentors to date have included:

  • Audra Berg, Associate Vice President of Leadership and Campaign, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Aaron Cohen, Vice President, Communications, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Greg Gross, President & CEO, Michael Reese Health Trust
  • Dr. David Rubovits, Senior Vice President of Planning and Allocations, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Stefen Teodosic, Executive Director, Beber Camp
  • Jill Weinberg, Midwest Regional Director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Mark Weiner, President and CEO, Council for Jewish Elderly (Chicago)
  • Richard Zelin, Vice President of Development, Sinai Health System
  • Amy Wichnick, Principle, Whichnick and Associates 
  • Laura Kaufman, CEO, Partners in Effective Philanthropy 
  • Leslie Rosen Stern, Managing Director, Meeting Your Mission
  • Dr. Marc Swatez, Executive Director, The ARK
  • Gary Weinstein, President and CEO (retired), Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas


Tuition and fees paid out-of-pocket for accredited higher education certificate programs like this one may qualify for a deduction on your federal taxes, depending on your income. Check with your tax adviser for details.