Hartman Institute joins with Jewish leadership project
The Shalom Hartman Institute has initiated a new partnership with a prestigious young leadership group, the Professional Leaders Project .
The new partnership emerged when PLP’s executive director, Rhoda Weissman attended this past summer’s Lay Leadership Study Retreat . PLP is an entrepreneurial nonprofit that selects talented young potential leaders across the United States in their 20s and 30s, and grooms them, through networking, mentoring, coaching and skill-building, into tomorrow’s leaders.
Weissman, together with Shalom Hartman Institute’s Center for Lay Leadership Education Director, Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi , saw immediately the potential of the Hartman Institute-PLP partnership to provide young talent with an opportunity to tackle some of the burning issues in contemporary Jewish society and to bring the philosophy and vision of the Institute to a much sought after audience of the next generation of Jewish Leadership.
As a result, the Institute’s Lay Leadership Global Beit Midrash program now includes two sites for PLP talent, one in Los Angeles and one in Washington, D.C. Additional PLP talent is brought from multiple additional communities around the U.S. in order to participate in the Global Beit Midrash.
This year’s Global Beit Midrash topic, "Eight Dilemmas of Membership," is especially relevant for these future community leaders.
This new initiative is already expected to lead to multiple additional PLP sites of the Global Beit Midrash next year and to other possible collaborations both in terms of shared publications and conferences on other burning issues regarding the future of the Jewish world.
Here are comments from current participants:
Dov Rosenblat, PLP DC: I am a musician who performs for Jewish communities all over the world. I have played in the U.S, Israel, Australia, South Africa, and the U.K. In my travels I have met every kind of Jew, as we perform for different sects of Judaism. I am always interested in learning about sects other than my own (“Modern Orthabad” – I grew up modern Orthodox and my wife grew up Chabad.).
What the class enforced is the notion that people waste so much time arguing about who they can and can’t include, but if they moved on from that issue, they can see that there is so much to learn from each other. “Eize hu chacham – ha’lomed mikol adam.”
Ari Moss, PLP LA: First I would say that the teaching of the class was excellent. Rabbi Hartman is a compelling teacher, captivating. The content, the idea of discussing membership and “who is in the community” is also wonderful. As to whether or not it influenced the way I think about membership and ethnicity, it made me think about these things deeper than I had. At core, it brought a fascinating series of problems/questions to the forefront.
Heather Wolfson, PLP LA: I am very involved (and have been involved in) the Jewish community for many years. For the past four years I have been working for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and am involved in the Progressive Jewish Alliance and have participated in a number of leadership programs.
David Rock, PLP LA: This class discussion brought to the surface the big debate within the Jewish community about Jewish identity and continuity. Although I am still processing from this discussion, Rabbi Hartman allowed me to think even deeper about how I define a Jew. It was great knowing that everything was live and not prerecorded. It added to the magnitude of what Rabbi Hartman had to say.