Center for Jewish Leadership

Rooted in the belief that great Jewish communities need great Jewish leaders, Spertus Institute’s Center for Jewish Leadership transforms Jewish life by cultivating innovative approaches to leadership and enhancing the abilities of Jewish professionals and lay leaders.

The Center for Jewish Leadership offers high-impact degree and certificate programs, as well as workshops, master classes, and symposia. Its programs enable organizational leaders — both professional and volunteer — to become effective, ethical, and inspiring leaders able to adeptly advance Jewish community life now and for generations to come.

The Center for Jewish Leadership is a model of excellence in leadership education for those who lead Jewish organizations, with faculty from institutions such as Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and the Rothenberg International School at Hebrew University. Its holistic approach integrates understanding of Jewish ethics, culture, and history, with insights and best practices from the worlds of business and nonprofit leadership.

Size of the Sector in the United States

  • 9,500 Jewish nonprofit organizations
  • 90,000 professionals working at Jewish nonprofits
  • 75-90% of CEOs plan to retire in next 5-7 years

Source: The Leading Edge

Headshot of Lisette Zaid

My Spertus experience transformed what I thought was just a job into a career helping my community thrive.

Director of Development
Center for Enriched Living, Chicago

Center for Jewish Leadership Impact

Stronger Professionals = Stronger Organizations = Stronger Communities

Since its inception in 2014, the Center for Jewish Leadership has reached more than 2,500 Jewish communal professionals and volunteers representing 250 organizations. These current and future leaders have gained the knowledge, skills, creativity, and strategic agility required to guide Jewish organizations with strength, integrity, and success.

They bring new practices that create stronger workplaces, attract and retain top talent, align activities to missions, and serve community needs with insight and excellence.

Targeted offerings give participants the precise proficiencies required to maximize their organizations’ performance, stay current on best practices, and avoid expensive outside consultants.

Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies (MAJPS)

For professionals serving Jewish organizations. Part-time, cohort-based program offers an integrated curriculum of cutting-edge professional skills along with applied Jewish studies.

Executive MA in Jewish Professional Studies (EMAJPS)

For executive-level professionals working in the North American Jewish community. Accelerated, integrated curriculum highlights Jewish thought and executive skills.

Certificate in Jewish Leadership

Presented in partnership with Northwestern University, this program is for professionals and lay leaders serving Jewish institutions who desire to lead, communicate, and collaborate more effectively.

Leadership Certificate in Combating Antisemitism

For individuals in leadership positions of Jewish institutions. This executive training teaches them to respond to antisemitism with strength, skill, and expertise.

Community Convener

In the communities it serves, the Center for Jewish Leadership is a convener around issues of learning and leadership. It brings together emerging and established professionals, volunteers, philanthropists, business leaders, and entrepreneurs, often for the first time.

The Center for Jewish Leadership creates networks necessary to strengthen community and career engagement, reduces duplication of resources, and fosters opportunities for collaboration.

Headshot of Josh Donner

Spertus helped me reach a personal understanding of what it means to lead Jewishly.

Executive Director
Shapira Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA

The Need for Jewish Leadership Development

The need for leadership training is paramount across the nonprofit sector, a need that is magnified in the Jewish community. Consider the following from a report titled Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders for Jewish Nonprofits by The Leading Edge:

The vast majority of Jewish nonprofits — 75% to 90% by some estimates — must find new executive leadership in the next 5–7 years.

Cultivating outstanding leaders is the most powerful lever that organizations have towards becoming more innovative, adaptive, and results-oriented. Spertus Institute’s Center for Jewish Leadership fills that need.

Spertus Institute’s Center for Jewish Leadership is supported in part by a generous grant from the Crown Family.

Support Jewish Community Leadership Initiatives

If you would like to learn how you can make a difference with your support of Spertus Institute’s leadership initiatives, email or make a gift online.

Next Step

Make an appointment to talk to Amie Barrish, Assistant Director for Recruitment, and she’ll help you explore if a Spertus program is right for you.