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Certificate in Jewish Leadership Cohort Begins

Certificate in Jewish Leadership Cohort Begins

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The 2017 cohort is now filled.
To be contacted with information about the next cohort,
please use the contact info below.

Certificate in Jewish Leadership

Sponsored by Northwestern University and Spertus Institute, the Certificate in Jewish Leadership (CJL) enhances the professional abilities of Jewish leaders. With a cohort of senior-level colleagues, participants learn to:

  • Master communication and collaboration, even in difficult situations
  • Articulate and achieve goals
  • Inspire excellence 
  • Lead through times of change

The program is rooted in the belief that Judaism has its own distinct and insightful approaches to leadership. Through lectures and group work led by senior Northwestern University and Spertus Institute faculty, participants learn to be skillful supervisors, manage change, and cultivate their own personal leadership styles. The curriculum draws from best practices in contemporary leadership and from classical Jewish texts and thought.

Traditionally, programs for Jewish leadership have focused either on management skills or Jewish literacy. In this program, leadership training is taught within a distinctively Jewish context.

Hybrid teaching model allows participation from across North America

Beginning in October 2017, the program will be presented through a combination of onsite seminars (at the Spertus Institute campus in Chicago) and online content.

Cost for entire program (including Leadership Assessment and Mentor Match) is $2,500. Discount available for qualified employees of Jewish organizations. Does not include travel or accommodations.

Interested in finding out if this program is right for you?

Request Information

Or contact Director of Enrollment Management Anita Silvert

Curriculum covers four key areas

The curriculum is a four-course sequence. Participants proceed through the curriculum as a cohort, which provides opportunities for peer learning and networking.The program includes mentoring with established Jewish community leaders.

Fall Seminar in Chicago
October 29-31, 2017

Course 1: Models of Jewish Leadership
Taught by Dr. Hal M. Lewis

Course 2: Collaboration
Taught by Dr. Gail Berger Darlow

Winter Seminar in Chicago
February 11-13, 2018

Course 3: Communications for Leaders
Taught by Aleen Bayard
Includes Leadership Skills Assessment

Course 4: Leading People Through Change
Taught by Dr. Russ Rogers

Online Capstone
March 2018

Taught by Dr. Hal M. Lewis

About Northwestern University

  • Preeminent university recognized internationally as a hallmark of academic excellence.
  • Provides students with exceptional opportunities for intellectual, professional, and personal growth.
  • Instructors bring outstanding academic credentials and relevant professional experience to the classroom to create a highly interactive, collaborative, and challenging learning environment.
  • Students study with peers who have rich, diverse backgrounds and can provide lifelong learning connections.

About Spertus Institute

  • Long and rich history of innovative programming that serves the needs of Jewish educators and communal professionals.
  • Outstanding, diverse, and non-denominational offerings are multifaceted, grounded in Jewish thought, inspired by Jewish values, and resolutely relevant to contemporary life.
  • Graduate-level degree programs, professional certificates, and workshops blend theory and practice and are taught by leading faculty with real-world experience.
  • Serves students around the globe through on-campus and distance-learning programs.

Learning Outcomes

To earn the certificate, participants must complete all four modules and the capstone. Participants who complete the certificate program will be able to:

  • Analyze, explain, and model what it means to be an effective leader by drawing upon Jewish scholarship, classical texts, and best practices
  • Apply ethical principles based on Jewish traditions into daily leadership practices
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key qualities of effective leadership based on contemporary leadership theory
  • Develop a repertoire of supervisory, conflict resolution, and change management skills
  • Implement strategies and techniques for effective collaboration, team building, and communication
  • Synthesize what is learned in this program to solve problems within the organization(s) with which the participant works

2017 Certificate recipients, shown above, left to right: Rabbi Anna Levin Rosen, University of Chicago Hillel | Alec Ross, Youth Centers of Israel/Keren Yaldenu | Betsy Gomberg, Spertus Institute | Peter Bensinger, Sr., Morneau Shepell | Jane Charney, Jewish Community Relations Council | Jason Peltz, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP and Trustee, Jewish United Fund | Dr. Linda Mathias Kaskel, Trustee, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation | Silvia Testa, NBC Universal Hispanic Group and Women’s Network, NBCU.


"I gained business skills, collaboration skills, and greater self-awareness."
— Susan Levin-Abir, Midwest Regional Director of Development, Hadassah

“Provided both theoretical and practical underpinnings to help me bolster my ability to communicate and leverage my strength as part of a team. I see the program as essential to my advancement as a professional.”
— Jane Charney, Director of Domestic Affairs, Jewish Community Relations Council

I have been able to take what I learned in each class and use it to enhance the work I do professionally.”
— Michael Waitz, North American Director, Shorashim

“...taught me to be more effective as a leader.”
— Sheri Hokin, Trustee, Jewish Women's Foundation

“I strongly recommend this program to lay and professional leaders in the Jewish community.”
— Shalom Klein, Vice President, Moshe Klein and Associates and Director, Jewish B2B Networking


This program has been developed for established and emerging leaders (including lay leaders) of Jewish organizations.

To date, we have served leaders of organizations focused on social service, philanthropy, education, culture, and advocacy.

We have found that newly promoted managers and directors — and the organizations they serve — have much to gain from this program.

Consultants and professionals working outside the Jewish community will also find the program offers benefits to their work through its focus on best practices in a Jewish context.


Mentoring is a unique and essential aspect of this program.

Each CJL Fellow is assigned a professional mentor who has extensive senior-level Jewish leadership experience. Mentors work closely with Fellows to identify areas for professional growth, discuss professional challenges, and help foster professional application of the program's content.

Mentors to date have included:

Aleen Bayard, Founder, MarketZing and Adjunct Faculty, Northwestern University

Audra Berg, Associate Vice President of Leadership and Campaign, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Aaron Cohen, Vice President, Communications, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Daniel Elbaum, Director, American Jewish Committee, Chicago Regional Office

Greg Gross, President & CEO, Michael Reese Health Trust

Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz, Former Director of Education, Congregation Am Yisroel and Faculty, Spertus Institute

Dr. Hal M. Lewis, President and CEO, Spertus Institute

Dr. David Rubovits, Senior Vice President of Planning and Allocations, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Emily Soloff, Associate Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee

Stefen Teodosic, Executive Director, Beber Camp

Jill Weinberg, Midwest Regional Director, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Mark Weiner, President and CEO, Council for Jewish Elderly (Chicago)

Richard Zelin, Vice President of Development, Sinai Health System


Tuition and fees paid out-of-pocket 
for accredited higher education certificate programs like this one may qualify for a deduction on your federal taxes, depending on your income. 
Check with your tax adviser for details.