‘Speed Networking’ Fosters New Connections for Local Leaders

On April 4, The Pauline Foster Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Institute (PFWPLI) hosted 11 Jewish professionals from a wide spectrum of Jewish non-profits in San Diego County for a dynamic evening of connection and conversation. The purpose of the program was to introduce PFWPLI participants with local Jewish leaders in order to gain deeper insight into the values, skills, and knowledge needed to make change and impact in our San Diego Jewish community. One PFWPLI participant commented, “As a leader in the Jewish community, I now feel more prepared to be a resource and support to others. I feel more knowledgeable about other agencies, their place in the community, and their interdependence within the larger Jewish community.”

Michael Jeser, Federation CEO, shared, “I was especially proud of this session because of what it says about our Federation’s role in the community. We often say that Federation takes a balcony level view of the needs of the entire community. Strengthening the pipeline of leaders is an ongoing and daunting challenge for many of our organizations. This session was a wonderful example of how our Federation is investing in building future leadership not just for Federation, but for the ENTIRE community. I witnessed the almost one dozen agency professionals not only enjoying their interaction with our participants, but expressing appreciation for being introduced to these amazing current and future leaders. We are beyond grateful to Pauline Foster's z"l family for supporting and investing in this vision for our future.

After a powerful D’Var Torah, PFWPLI participants were matched with the Jewish organizational professionals for a fun and lively “Speed Networking” session. With a timer running, each participant had 5 minutes to explore challenges, successes, organizational philosophies, and more. Judging by the intensity of conversation and enthusiastic participation, there were several meaningful “matches”, and important conversations happening at every corner.  

When asked what leadership traits stood out, one participant replied, “All of the organizational leaders were expert listeners and wanted to find out about us and our interests. That is an exceptional trait of an effective leader.”

The organizational leaders included:

Shana Hazan, Jewish Family Service
Tammy Gillies, Anti-Defamation League
Elisheva Green, Friendship Circle
Lisa Kalal, Camp Mountain Chai
Rabbi Gary Oren, Hillel San Diego
Debbie Rodriguez, Hope Village Chesed Home
Pam Ferris, Seacrest Village Retirement Communities
Michael Jeser, Jewish Federation of San Diego County
Beth Sirull, Jewish Community Foundation
Yael Steinberg, StandWithUs
Merav Shenhar, Israeli American Council

Thank you to all of our participants for your partnership and commitment to building community. To learn more about The Pauline Foster Women's Philanthropy Leadership Institute please contact Jodie Graber




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