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Raising Up Great Leaders

By May 7, 2021May 14th, 2021CARING, COMMUNITY

A cohort of twenty organizational leaders representing fourteen organizations across Jewish Atlanta will soon complete an intensive leadership and board development program called OnBoard, brought to our community in partnership with a national foundation. But their “graduation” from the program is really just the beginning of their leadership journey. OnBoard is a leadership launching pad that challenges and stretches each participant’s capacity to be effective inside their current organizations and in any future roles.

Their training is right in step with Federation’s role as a Community Champion. Raising up strong leaders has an amazing ripple effect within an organization, and ultimately on our entire Jewish ecosystem. By investing in leaders, we strengthen the community’s collective capacity to meet current challenges, to ensure stable succession planning, and to be ready for the future.

The OnBoard program is uniquely invested not just in the development of the fellows, but also in increasing organizational capacity at the organizations in which they serve.  In addition to intense seminar and Jewish learning and coaches who work individually with OnBoard fellows, the board of each organization engaged in a self-assessment process, and each organization was granted $10,000 to work with an outside consultant on a project identified as an area of opportunity to strengthen their board functioning. At the conclusion of the formal learning part of the program next month, each organization will now also apply for a 1:1 matching challenge grant of $100,000 for projects that increase organizational capacity. If all our participating organizations are successful in meeting their challenge grants, Jewish Atlanta will see an infusion of more than $1.5 million of outside dollars coming into the community for substantial impact!

Wally Levitt, CEO of Ramah Darom values his OnBoard experience. “In these challenging and unusual times, every non-profit leader is turning to their board of directors more than ever for support and guidance. Ramah Darom is so appreciative to be part of the OnBoard program, providing valuable training and guidance to our board members and professional leadership. The topics covered were relevant, and the quality of the speakers has been exceptional. We know that this experience will help ensure Ramah Darom continues to thrive.” 

Representing The Breman Museum as a fellow, Adam Koplan also feels his organization has benefitted from an OnBoard consulting grant. “We used the grant for taking a hard look at our board and asking how we might be an even more effective tool for growing The Breman. We created an action plan to revitalize and optimize board participation around a target set of priorities: re-aligning the whole team around our future vision and strategic plan, reviewing committee structures and charters, creating a board matrix of skills and strengths, and increasing our awareness around Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.”  

“We also benefitted from personal training with wonderful national experts on fundraising and board structures/governance. We meet monthly in intensive four-hour training blocks for an MBA style class in these key areas of non-profit leadership. The training has already made me more engaged and knowledgeable in this board revamp process and successful fundraising strategies over time,” Koplan said. 

Ana Robbins, Executive Director of Jewish Kids Groups said, “High functioning boards drive impactful organizations. OnBoard has been a learning accelerator for our whole organization, positioning us for new heights and greater impact.”

OnBoard is strengthening our local leaders right where they are, right on the job. Several fellows have become board chair of their organization in the midst of the program. These investments in rising leaders and organizations positions Jewish Atlanta to become an even stronger and more impactful ecosystem.  

Participants in the OnBoard cohort:
Atlanta Jewish Academy: Leanne, Kaplan, Pia Koslow Frank
The Epstein School: David Poline
Jewish Kids Groups: Sara Watson
Camp Coleman (URJ): Myndi Carter, Jackie Dalton
Ramah Darom: Angela Cohen
Hillels of Georgia: Kara Adler
The Breman Jewish Heritage Museum: Adam Koplan
Jewish Family & Career Services: Rashelle Berry, Zak Koffler
Jewish Home Life Communities: Andrea Lipman
Jewish Fertility Foundation: Lynn Goldman
Congregation Bet Haverim: Barry Golivesky, Amy Price
Congregation Ohr Ha Torah: Marci Joel, Raanon Gal
Temple Beth Tikvah: Todd Boehm, Robert Rickles
Congregation Shearith Israel: Blair Rothstein