Each year, approximately 500 hand-picked Masa Fellows participate in a variety of Masa's unique Leadership Summits. Alumni credit these gatherings to the leadership positions they have gone on to attain. This year, one hundred young Jews from 17 different countries gathered in Neve Ilan outside of Jerusalem, from May 9-12, for a four-day Global Leadership Summit hosted by Masa Israel Journey. This year's Summit included the largest variety of countries represented at any Masa Leadership Summit to date.
Masa Fellows from Uzbekistan, India, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Poland, Italy, Mexico, Holland, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, the United States, and England engaged in informative sessions and workshops designed to provide tools for a lifetime of leadership.
"Our fellows are returning home to communities that need their leadership, creativity and voice. We know that their communities are strengthened by the involvement of committed Jews with a deep connection with Israel. This is why cultivating leadership while on Masa matters," said Sarah Mali, vice president and head of Masa's Leadership & Impact Center.
The Global Leadership Summit teaches the Harvard-developed Adaptive Leadership framework and, through the framework, encourages behavioral leadership – small acts of leadership that can change organizations and communities for the better. Fellows are encouraged to find their purpose and let go of their reliance on people in positions of authority to fix the issues they care about and to take responsibility for them themselves. Each day was structured around a central theme, from "Living Leadership" site visits to "Challenges in Israeli society" to "Integrating ideas & taking it home."
"I came to the summit to acquire concrete tools that will help me grow not just as a person, but also as someone who can make a difference in this world and specifically in the Jewish community," said Patryca Zaslawska, Masa Fellow from Poland.
The participating Masa Fellows spoke highly of the summit, emphasizing a renewed motivation to continue developing their leadership abilities and inspire change by advancing communal initiatives throughout the Jewish world.
"My time here at the summit was one of my best experiences in Israel this year," said Meir Killekar, 27, from India. "As I transition back into the professional world where I wish to lead a team, the concepts that I learned here will shape my leadership approach for years to come."
Fellows at the summit attended a gala featuring speeches from Mali, Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll, and Masa CEO Ofer Gutman. On the final day of the summit, Fellows were given an opportunity to share their personal stories and analyze real-life scenarios through the lens of leadership, ensuring they internalized the lessons they learned throughout the week.
"As someone who started his public work in Masa, I know how much the participation in Masa programs strengthens the connection to Israel and turns these Fellows into ambassadors of the Israeli story," said Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll at the gala. "Each Masa Fellow, from anywhere in the world, has a unique story that they bring with them, as part of the Israeli story."