My father has a favorite expression that he whips out whenever faced with the inertia in others: “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." I have heard it many times. And while I agree with him, there are, of course, many circumstances in which consistency is not only desirable, but preferable. No doubt, it is our constant belief in a shared set of values which has sustained the Jewish people for centuries. Developing leaders and their ability to look through the lens of those values will help perpetuate this long legacy.
Minneapolis Jewish Federation has been very proud to offer lay leaders in our community a wonderful educational experience designed for rising leaders. Yesod (or Foundation) is built upon the knowledge and skills a leader needs to be effective. The curriculum, created for the Jewish Federations of North America by Dr. Erica Brown and the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, is designed to inspire and teach by using case studies, reflective exercises, and Jewish texts. Over the course of eight sessions taught in consecutive weeks, the program not only helps leaders focus through the aforementioned lens, it also creates a cohort of peers who can serve as resources for each other and strategic partners for years to come. Topics covered over the two months include mentoring and growing others, growing from failure, and inspired communications.
Having successfully administered the program twice for lay leaders in our community, the next cohort taking the class will consist of Jewish community professionals. We at Federation feel very strongly that it is essential to invest in Jewish professionals so that they can work effectively and lead the community from strength to strength. Partners from across the community were invited to nominate participants. From October 30 to December 11, the Twin Cities’ own Sally Abrams will lead the following participants through the Yesod curriculum:
Anna Simon, Adath Jeshurun Congregation
Evan Stern, Adath Jeshurun Congregation
Robin Doroshow, Jewish Historical Society
Rabbi Ryan Dulkin, Minnesota Hillel
Carrie Miller, JHAP
Martin Lipshutz, MJF
Amalie Frankel, MJF
Louise Schoenberger, HMJDS
Libby Parker, TC Jewfolk
Laine Epp, JFCS
Carrie Fink, JFCS
Beth Gendler, NCJW
Cantor Jeremy Lipton, Talmud Torah
Liz Rappaport, Beth El Synagogue
Matt Walzer, Beth El Synagogue
Ali King, Bet Shalom Congregation
Sami Rahamim, JCRC
Jeff Sherman, Sholom
Susie Held, Sholom
Abby Kirshbaum, Temple Israel
To further the value added to the community, we intend to nominate a lay leader from each organization listed above to participate in the cohort next year; creating pairs of strategic partners at many institutions.
If you run into one of the aforementioned aspiring Jewish scholars, offer them a hearty mazel tov and thank them not only for the work they do on our behalf, but for their unfoolish consistency.