The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans sponsors a two-year Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program was originally named Lemann-Stern in honor of two distinguished New Orleanians, Monte M. Lemann and Edgar B. Stern, Sr. The program began in 1960 for the purpose of training outstanding young people in the community for positions of leadership.
This highly important and prestigious program has been extraordinarily successful in generating future leaders for the Jewish community of New Orleans, encompassing its agencies, organizations and synagogues. Most of its graduates have found their way into leadership roles and currently 65% of the presidents, leaders and board members in the Jewish community have graduated from the program.
Participants in the program are selected from nominations made by past participants and from community leaders. The program is a year and a half in length and includes a mission to Israel, monthly meetings, and a two day retreat.
In the fall of 2013, the Jewish Federation commenced its newly enhanced Leadership Development Program. Based on an extensive evaluation and research process, the program now has a revised curriculum and a new learning model as described below.
The Leadership Development Program consists of the following components:
1. Mission to Israel – at the commencement of the program
2. Monthly Sessions
3. Leadership Retreat – in the second year
4. Social Action project – run by the participants
5. Internships – each participant joins an agency board as an intern
6. Mentorship – each participant is assigned a mentor who will help guide their journey into leadership
The monthly sessions are led and organized by a professional facilitator who has a central role in shaping the content of the program.
Jewish Federation is searching to contract a trained professional facilitator who will assist in organizing and planning the program and to facilitate the monthly sessions.
The curriculum translates the programmatic goals into a learning plan. This is an integrated program. The program goals, such as developing leadership skills and engagement in the community, will not be focused on one particular session but integrated into many sessions. In shaping a curriculum, it’s important to identify what goals will be the focus of each part of the curriculum. Anything that does not fit at least two of the goals should not be included in the curriculum.
The dynamic curriculum reflects these attributes:
Mirrors the social reality of the times
Understands the interests, backgrounds, and commitments of its participants
Has clarity about the learning goals
Creates a variety of learning experiences to reflect the many ways that people learn and how each participant is processing the experience
Remains open enough that it can evolve and change based on challenges and issues that arise during the program
People learn and grow in many different ways. As seen in many secular and Jewish leadership programs around the country, people experience more when it is a facilitated, participatory experience combined with some presentations but with sufficient time to allow participants to engage fully with the material. The program is more than a coordinated experience but one that is professionally facilitated. It includes a variety of the following learning methods:
Reading (a few current essays or articles for each session)
Writing (brief reflective pieces)
Small group work
Individual tasks and assessments
Social action project
The sessions can be characterized by the following:
Each session should have a lesson plan.
Sessions will be guided by a facilitator to engage every participant: to create an environment where people can reflect and be honest and where they feel safe to explore and question; to push and challenge people as appropriate; and to bring in connections to leadership and the challenges that leaders face.
Each session should be connected to the program goals. Sessions should end with: “What is my take away from tonight?”
Participants should be expected to read a short article or essay before each session. The readings place everyone on the same page and serve to anchor the presentation and dialogue.
Each session should be two hours and should not be referred to as “meetings.”
There should be clear take-aways for each session.
In the fall of the second year, a retreat will take place beginning late Friday afternoon and ending late Saturday afternoon.
The focus of the retreat will be on leadership skills, though not exclusively so.
The Facilitator will be expected to plan and program the whole retreat and to lead some of the sessions.
Role of the Facilitator
Qualifications: the facilitator should have a university background in social work, education, organizational development, psychology or other related field. He/she will have a proven record in facilitating educational, planning or organizational processes.
In particular he/she will be required to facilitate complex conversations and discussions around sensitive and controversial issues with a highly educated, inquisitive and critical group of participants, be able to lead discussions in an appropriate manner and bring the conversations to a close.
It is hoped that the facilitator will be familiar with the Jewish community in New Orleans and have a basic understanding of American and World Jewry, as well as Israel. In particular, familiarity and understanding of some of the critical issues these communities are facing is preferred.
The program facilitator responsibilities will include:
Creating a safe and open environment for learning;
Applying knowledge of how to guide a discussion so as to engage as many people as possible;
Understanding who the participants are and how to bring out the best in each;
Operating with a somewhat structured agenda making sure the sessions allow for openness, questions, and dialogue;
Knowing how to contextualize and frame subjects;
Possessing the ability to help the participants frame all that they are learning in a way that is meaningful to each person.
Specifically, the Facilitator is expected to assist the Program Director in planning the curriculum of the whole two years of monthly sessions by:
Preparing a general reading list for each of the two years;
Preparing specific short reading lists for each session;
Introducing the subject at hand at each session and outlining the main issues within it;
Facilitating the discussions and conversations;
Summarizing the main points and issues;
Where possible or appropriate helping to lead to a conclusion;
Suggesting possible follow up activity.
The Facilitator will play a central role in planning and executing the retreat in the second year.
The Facilitator will also oversee and guide the mentorship program.
The Facilitator will not plan or participate in the mission to Israel.
In addition to the monthly sessions and the retreat, the facilitator is expected to participate in program staff meetings that will take place with the Program Director, the Executive Director of Federation and the two program advisors.
The Facilitator will not be employed by Federation but rather will be engaged under contractual engagement for an initial two year term.
The contractual fee will be based on a fixed number of hours for each monthly session plus preparatory work, planning and participation in the second year retreat and planning and consultation in staff meetings.
The main curriculum will begin in September 2015 but preparatory work will commence in May 2015.
Payment will be made on a quarterly basis after submission of an invoice and detailed statement.
The initial contract will be for two years with an option to renew.
11 Monthly Sessions during a Two Year Period:
September, 2015-May, 2016
September, 2016 and November, 2016
The Two Day Weekend Retreat will take place in October, 2016.
Graduation is in January, 2017.
Candidates should submit a detailed resume and accompanying letter explaining how their skills and experience match the job description.
Candidates should also attach a costing based on hours expected and suggested overall contract fee. The costing should include a fee for the monthly sessions (total of 11 sessions) including preparation and follow up time; fee for the second year overnight retreat including prep and follow up time; fee for general consultation and preparation with Federation staff and the program Advisors with an estimate of 6-8 meetings during the two year period.
The Search Committee will interview potential candidates. Candidates who pass the preliminary round will be asked to prepare a sample session.
For more information, please contact the Program Director, Sherri Tarr, at 504-780-5609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.