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The Scholar Series on Leadership

The URJ Scholar Series is a learning opportunity, which provides congregational leaders with access to experts and resources in key areas of congregational leadership. It is designed to inspire sacred action within congregations. Through this series, leaders engage in dialogue about big questions and concerns within their sacred communities. Each time the URJ Scholar Series is offered, three sessions are taught, each by a different expert in the field.

2016-17 URJ Scholar Series

The 2016-17 URJ Scholar Series focuses on values-based leadership. The three following sessions were offered:

  1. "Becoming a Values-Based Leader" by Harry Kraemer- This session explores four principles that guide leaders to make choices that align with their values. It was presented by Harry Kraemer, the former chairman and CEO of Baxter International and a Kellogg School of Management Clinical Professor of Strategy. Listen to the session recording in The Tent.
  2. "When to Say 'Yes' and When to Say 'No' as a Jewish Leader" by Erica Brown- Using biblical texts, this session analyzes situations in which past leaders said "yes" and "no" to leadership callings and assists leaders in making strategic decisions regarding what they consent to take on. It is presented by Dr. Erica Brown, associate professor at George Washington University and Director of its Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, who is also the Community Scholar for The Jewish Center in Manhattan. Listen to the session recording in The Tent.
  3. "Applying the Lessons of Mussar to Community Leadership" by Alan Morinis- This session will use the Mussar to provide guidance in achieving success in congregational life by instilling Jewish values in leaders' characters and practice. It will be presented by Alan Morinis, the Founder and Dean of the Mussar Institute. Listen to the session recording in The Tent.

Download the 2016-17 Scholar Series Resource and Discussion Guide.

2015-16 Scholar Series

Both virtually and in person at the URJ Biennial 2015, congregational lay and professional leaders studied, engaged, and conversed with each other and with our 2015-16 scholars about the following topics:

  1. Values Alignment and "Matterness"- Allison Fine, author, a former temple president and an expert in harnessing the power of social media and social entrepreneurship, led a session about Making People Matter: More than Just Something We Say. This session focuses on how working with - and not at - people, can create a thriving, engaged congregation. Listen to the session recording in The Tent.
  2. Leadership in Challenging Times- This session focuses on the challenges of leadership in a time when change is the new constant, and on the adaptive leadership approach that congregations should consider in order to remain relevant. The session was led by Marty Linsky, co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates and one of the leading experts on Adaptive Leadership. Listen to the session recording in The Tent.
  3. Collaboration- Rabbi Jay Moses, Vice President of the Wexner Foundation, led the final session- Collaboration Won't Kill Us... But Faililng to Collaborate Might. This session focuses on the need and benefits to working together in congregational life. Listen to the session recording in The Tent.

Download 2015-16 Scholar Series Resource and Discussion Guide.

For more infomation, contact Lisa Lieberman Barzilai at (212) 650-4081 or LBarzilai@urj.org.