(January 6, 2022, Jerusalem, Israel, JNS Wire) Masa Israel Journey, founded by the Government of Israel and The Jewish Agency, hosted its five-day Masa Wilf Leadership Summit, funded by the Wilf Family Foundations, for select Masa post-college Fellows. The Fellows who attended were selected out of hundreds who applied to join the leadership event. The event was held in the outskirts of Jerusalem from Sunday, December 26 through Thursday, December 30, 2021.
A select cohort of 140 Masa Fellows gathered for the intensive five-day seminar training devoted to developing their leadership capabilities and empowering them to become agents of change within Israel, their Jewish communities, and beyond. Fellows at the Summit engaged actively in full group plenaries, group activities, and workshops that opened opportunities for leadership for fellows in the ‘here and now’ of the Summit itself. Fellows were exposed to the Adaptive Leadership framework developed by the Harvard Kennedy School. As part of their diagnostic work, the Summit included a variety of exposure visits in and around the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv areas exploring contemporary challenges and opportunities in Israeli society.
The Masa Wilf Leadership Summit recorded its highest registration rate ever, bringing 140 Fellows together from the United States, The UK, The Netherlands, Chile, France, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and many more.
When looking at the future of these Fellows, we see that 36% of all Masa Fellows serve on executive boards and Jewish committees, and 61% of them define themselves as Jewish leaders.
“The Masa Wilf Leadership Summit is no ordinary convening,” Masa CEO Ofer Gutman said. “This expansive program gathers some of the brightest and most curious minds from around the world that come from different Masa programs to advance a crucial mission. Here is the future of global Jewish leadership all in one place. Our data shows that 13% of all Masa alum become Jewish professionals and among them, 71% define themselves as Jewish leaders.”
Tori Greene of Miami, FL, values all opportunities to learn and gain perspective. Her journey to empower individuals to design their own inspired, values-driven Jewish lifestyles has led her to seek rabbinical training at Hebrew Union College, supplementing her leadership and innovative managerial skills with the full depth of Jewish wisdom.
“I’m going to be thinking about the Wilf Leadership Summit for the rest of my life; especially the sacred parting words from one of my facilitators. Those four days reminded me that while being challenged to think differently can be frustrating, it is so necessary as I continue to strive to be my best self,” said Tori Greene.
Vice President, Leadership & Impact Head, Masa Leadership & Impact Center, Sarah Mali said: “We introduce our Fellows to the idea that everyone can exercise leadership – that leadership is a muscle, that it’s not dependent on your position of authority, and we introduce our Fellows to challenges facing the Jewish world. We give them the mindset and the toolset to be able to make progress on those challenges so that when they return home, they’re both equipped with the understanding that they can exercise leadership and with the tools to be able to do good things to advance the betterment around the issues that they care about.” Adding, “Adaptive Leadership helps individuals and organizations adapt and succeed in challenging environments, by embracing innovation and experimentation, and it increases the ability to take on the gradual but meaningful process of change.”
In reflecting on the Summit, one Fellow said: “I did not know what to expect when I arrived in Jerusalem for the Masa Wilf Leadership Summit. I was expecting a routine conference about the dos and don’ts of leadership. I was surprised to discover that I could not have ever expected that this was going to be the most transformative and unique experience in my time in Israel thus far. As opposed to a routine conference, all of us were completely removed from our comfort zone by having complete autonomy in how we conducted ourselves in activities, group settings, and presentations. All of us were given the opportunity to exercise Adaptive Leadership in the way we individually saw fit. It was challenging and at times confronting, as we were in situations where we faced a lot of self-doubt and discomfort and had no choice but to find it within ourselves to overcome it. This experience proved transformative for my self-confidence as well as for my love for Israel.”
Currently, there are more than 8,000 Masa Fellows in Israel participating in long-term educational experiences, and thousands more are expected to arrive later this programming year.
To view photos of the Summit, click here.
To view video of the Summit, click here.