Birthright participants at Ein Avdat in the Negev.
(photo credit: TAGLIT-BIRTHRIGHT)
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation launched the Schusterman Fellowship with an inaugural cohort of 24 fellows from across the United States, Israel, Australia and Europe to develop professional and volunteer leaders and maximize their potential for fostering Jewish organizational and societal change.
The fellows, who work at a range of Jewish and secular non-profit and for-profit organizations, include a former policy adviser at MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the executive director of Israel & Co., a unique touring company for MBA programs abroad seeking the wisdom of Israel’s start-up gurus; the CEO of Stand Up, an Australian social-justice initiative.
“Our goal is to nurture professional and volunteer leadership as an important way to create transformational change in the Jewish community and beyond,” said Lynn Schusterman, founder and co-chairwoman of the foundation, which focuses on strengthening the global Jewish community, Jewish ties to Israel, education in the United States and local projects in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the hometown of Lynn and the late Charles Schusterman. “We are investing in these individuals because we believe they are going to be at the forefront of Jewish life in years to come.”
During the 18-month program, each fellow will participate in individualized and cohort-based learning and create a plan to address a pressing challenge in his or her organization.
“Globally we’ve seen how bureaucratic and unaccountable religious power structures become ineffective if not complicit in dealing with the horror of child sexual abuse,” said Rabbi Ari Hart, associate rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, director of admissions at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and a new fellow. “My project will be to do a top-down review of our several hundred family organization: policies, reporting structures, trainings, etc., and then making the policy and procedure changes to best protect our children. It is my hope that this process can serve as a model for other communities.”
Eleven of the 24 fellows are members of the ROI Community, another Schusterman initiative that boasts a Jewish activist network of nearly 1,000 members worldwide.