I have spent a large part of the time since our last Newsletter speaking to current and future leaders of our community, and it has focused my attention on the challenge that the community faces in relation to leadership.
The subject is close to my heart. You will know from my previous columns that I am an alumnus of BBYO, in which leadership by peers was an integral part of what we did. I learned a huge amount from the leadership training programmes which BBYO provided and progressed to be a madrich at those very programmes.
So, it has been a privilege for me to speak to young leaders on training programmes all round the country. Along with some of my fellow communal CEO’s, I was on the panel on a “Question Time” for the participants on the Adam Science leadership programme; I was in Manchester to meet the alumni of the last three years of the UJIA Manchester leadership programme; along with our Trustee Leo Noe, I met the participants from Israel, both secular and Charedi, in the Gesher Leadership programme who were visiting the UK and of course, I am having regular engagement with our GAMECHANGERS senior leadership programme.
Our leadership division, Lead, and the various other organisations are continuing to develop leaders for the community. The New Leadership Network’s members are now Chairs of a large number of communal bodies.
So why do we hear so much about a Leadership crisis in the UK Jewish Community if there are so many well trained and talented younger leaders coming through?
Is it because the former generation of leaders combined leadership traits with generous philanthropy? Is that link between philanthropy and leadership breaking? Can our new generation of leaders bring new, fresh leadership skills and combine them with an ability to generate the funding that our community needs? What is the type of leadership that our community needs in the next twenty years?
These are amongst the challenges that we face as a community and which our GAMECHANGERS are getting their heads round.
It is an area that I will be looking at increasingly as the year progresses.