HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

Nurturing Leadership

Nurturing Leadership

Leadership is not a job title; it’s a character trait that day schools seek to cultivate in each student and extend to all stakeholders. Starting with Jewish perspectives on leadership, this issue investigates ways to support the leadership of the head of school, recommends leadership qualities to develop among students, and gives guidance for developing leadership in faculty and board members.


by RAVSAK Staff Jun 01, 2009

This column features books, articles, and websites, recommended by our authors and people from the RAVSAK network, pertaining to the theme of the current issue of HaYidion for readers who want to investigate the topic in greater depth.

From the Desk of Susan Weintrob, RAVSAK President

by Susan Weintrob Jun 01, 2009

We see leadership every day. As Head of School at Wornick Jewish Day School, I see it in Tamra who is a 3rd grade buddy in Tefillah for Reed, a kindergartner, as she runs her finger along the lines in her siddur for Reed to follow along. I see it when Ben helps his classmate into the office for an ice pack for his knee after his friend fell in recess. I see leadership in the mother who asks us to publicize the request for bone marrow of another mother, who doesn’t even belong to our school community. I see leadership in our young second grade teacher who stays late each night, preparing lessons for the next day. Leadership is responsibility and hard work, which bring tremendous satisfaction and from time to time, when we are lucky, results.

From the Editor

by Barbara Davis Jun 01, 2009

The Latin verb “ducare,” root of the word “educate,” means “to lead.” Leadership is thus at the heart of the educational process. The present issue of HaYidion addresses the topic of leadership from many different perspectives.

The Board Member’s Guide to Successful Fundraising

by Eva E. Aldrich Jun 01, 2009

For nearly two decades, my life has revolved around educational institutions. I’ve been an educator, a consultant working with independent schools and private colleges and universities, and a member of the boards of several nonprofit educational programs. Currently, I teach board members how to help grow philanthropic sustainability through our course “Purposeful Boards, Powerful Fundraising” at The Fund Raising School at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Nurturing the Leader Within

by Sue Einhorn Jun 01, 2009

I had been a Jewish educator for over twenty five years, thrilled and satisfied to be in the classroom as a middle school teacher. Journeying along an incredible path in Jewish education, my life was transformed five short years ago, when the principal of my school (Greenfield Day School in Miami) offered me the opportunity to participate in Project SuLaM, a program presented by RAVSAK and sponsored by AVI CHAI. It was a professional development program that was specifically directed to general studies school leadership looking for a rich and meaningful Jewish experience. I took that opportunity and nothing since has been the same in my life. It takes insightful leadership to recognize the potential of those working closely with you. As a result of this, I quickly learned that when the road to learning is shared, an inspired and committed community can develop.

Nurturing in Day Schools Women’s Leadership

by Abby Sosland Jun 01, 2009

Writing an article entitled “Nurturing Women’s Leadership in Day Schools” is a bit more complicated than it might seem. While many of the top leaders in Jewish education today are happy to discuss the issue, a number of women declined to have their names included in this piece and only spoke “off the record.” Even in 2009, when gender issues seem like a thing of the past, talking about women’s issues—in any area of Jewish professional life—still doesn’t feel safe to some people. Women fear complaining aloud; nobody wants to be labeled a “troublemaker.”

Training to Be a Dugma

by Jules Gutin Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipStudents

When I entered high school in 1963 I decided to follow in my sister’s footsteps and joined our local chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY). I’m not sure what I expected. From a distance, I had observed USYers at some of their activities. They appeared to enjoy the experience. I was particularly impressed with all the ruach.

Empowering Students for Social Action

by Rachel Meytin Jun 01, 2009

Q: What do all the following topics have in common: Darfur, energy independence, gay marriage, poverty, Israel, healthcare?
A: They are all issues on which pluralistic day school students attending recent Panim el Panim seminars chose to lobby.

Leadership Is a Privilege

by Steven Burg Jun 01, 2009

Interacting with teens is an indescribably rewarding experience. Teens are at that unique time in their lives when they are on the verge of independence. They are as intelligent as adults, often quite mature, and usually extremely enthusiastic. One of the greatest opportunities we can offer teens is that of empowering themselves. When providing teens with leadership roles, it is imperative to give them room to be creative, to make mistakes, and even to give them the “freedom to fail.” Given the chance, teens can reach unparalleled heights; if nothing else, their mistakes help build character.

Cultivating Knowledge Capital for Jewish Innovation

by Joshua Avedon and Shawn Landres Jun 01, 2009

A generation consisting of what are arguably the most well educated Jews in American history is flooding the marketplace of ideas with new strategies for building Jewish community in the 21st century. The broad and sustained investment in Jewish education over the past several decades is reaping high-yield benefits for the Jewish community in the form of a cadre of Jewishly literate, socially-minded, creative entrepreneurs—both lay and professional. They are some of the key leaders of the Jewish “Innovation Ecosystem,” a growing sector of dynamic new organizations that is changing the face of American Judaism.