Leaders Wanted

We awoke this morning to the sobering news that the 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was broken by Hamas within the first two hours. And worse, one of Israel's greatest fears during this conflict has occurred as 23-year old Hadar Goldin, an IDF soldier, has been reportedly abducted. Let us pray for his safe and quick return.

Israel continues to hear the sirens. We cannot silence them. But together, we can help mitigate their impact on Israelis who have been living under fire.

Through a broad-based communal effort, we are helping Israelis get the care and services they urgently need, from providing round-the-clock trauma counseling to helping hard-hit municipalities coordinate a vast array of emergency responses. As Operation Protective Edge continues, the millions of Israelis within range of Hamas’ rockets need our support.

Donate to our community’s Stop the Sirens campaign today.

Several of my colleagues from around the country were recently in Israel. Here is a short video showing the impact of our dollars on the people of Israel today.


“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader

Leadership in the Jewish community does not happen in a vacuum. It requires dedication to training and education. For decades, the Jewish Federation managed a leadership development program designed to attract, train and educate new and emerging leaders for the entire Jewish community. These individuals would learn more about our Jewish community and Jewish values, gain valuable skills, and then be encouraged to sit on boards and committees throughout our Jewish organizational infrastructure. I know many of you reading this newsletter were a part of such programs. At some point in time, however, the program ended.

When I first arrived in Portland four years ago, I was doing my best to meet anyone and everyone I could in the community. One of the most engaging and interesting people I met was Betty Rosenfeld (z”l). She was passionate (and certainly vocalized her opinions) about so many things in both the Jewish and secular communities. One such issue was the development of the next generation of leaders for our community.

Before Betty’s passing, and in partnership with the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, an endowment fund was created for young adult (ages 25-40) leadership development programs at the Jewish Federation.

I am pleased to announce that starting in October 2014, the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, through the generosity of the A. Victor and Betty Rosenfeld Leadership Development Endowment Fund of the OJCF, is launching the Rosenfeld Leadership Development Program that will develop young adults in the community who have an interest in growing their leadership skills and influencing the direction of the Jewish community. Through an inspiring, hands-on experience, participants will gain invaluable insight into our Jewish community and provide ideas for its future. In addition, leadership topics will be taught from the perspectives of Jewish tradition, social responsibility and community engagement.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy

Through this year long program, selected participants will:

  • Learn leadership skills that will help them in any professional aspect of their life
  • Engage in an exploration of their personal leadership style and development plan
  • Apply leadership skills by contributing to our community
  • Understand the leadership needs of the Jewish community and be able to engage others in the Jewish community
  • Work with and learn from local leaders in a mentorship role
  • Network with national and local leaders looking within community members

This leadership development program will meet nine times throughout the year. Each participant will be asked to participate actively by attending the sessions, work closely with local Jewish organizations, keep a reflection journal, and create a final vision project.

Each session will include meetings with and learning from volunteer and professional leaders throughout the Greater Portland area. The program topics will include:

  • What leadership currently looks like in the Jewish community
  • Ethics, Integrity, Tzedakah
  • Goal Planning and Project Development
  • The Voice of a Leader: Presentation, Communication and Motivation Strategies
  • Fundraising, Budgeting and Development
  • Critical Thinking, Decision Making and Creativity
  • Leaders in Action: Leadership Strategies and Competencies in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Engagement and Grassroots Mobilization
  • Where Do YOU Go from Here?

We need your help! Please share this information with any young adult (ages 25-40) in our community who you think may be interested in such a program. I assure you this will be done “first class,” providing an excellent pipeline of leaders for our community.

Two reasons we are so focused on this program are: 1) We need to involve more young adults in the leadership of our communal organizations.  2) We oftentimes ask the same people to fill leadership roles. We must train and develop more people to take these important roles in the future. In my 20 years as a Jewish communal professional I have seen two notable changes in leadership. First, fewer people desire to assume top leadership positions in organizations. Secondly, it is difficult to get younger people to give the necessary time to do these roles effectively.

If you are between the ages of 25-40 – the Rosenfeld Leadership Development Program may be for you. At the same time, we ask all of you to encourage young adults you know to apply. This is a new and exciting beginning for our community.


I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful Oregon summer. At the Jewish Federation we are busy planning for Campaign 2015. This year will include many new initiatives that we will share in the near future. But hold these dates for several special events:

Super Sunday – September 14
Cornerstone Event (annual donors of $1800+) – October 1
Campaign Kick-Off Celebration – October 25
Women’s Philanthropy Impact – November 13

Shabbat shalom and a special happy birthday to my beautiful and incredible wife.



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