Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Bornstein leadership members discuss community needs at retreat


Shown here (l-r): Rabbi David Gutterman (scholar in residence), Leah Silver, Sabrina Kalish, Whitney Kuvin, Jacob Hara, Leigh Schwartz, Rebecca Anders, Natalie Lauber, Jay Kohler, Judy Kahan (Bornstein chairwoman), Eric Sugarman, Nathalie Toledano, Danielle Krise, and Lisa Sholk (staff). Not pictured: Haley Forest and Yeosh Bendayan.

On Feb. 7, after a long day of work, 13 members of the Bornstein Leadership program gathered at the Hilton Altamonte for Shabbat filled with learning and new friendships. Rabbi David Gutterman of Philadelphia was the scholar in residence for the overnight retreat. The evening began with candle lighting, followed by a session where everyone shared their Hebrew name, and its origin. A lovely Shabbat dinner with some singing and blessings got the group into the Shabbat spirit. Then everyone gathered for a session about Jewish identity. Though the program ended late, many participants lingered to socialize for a while.

Saturday morning began with a casual prayer service, followed by some Torah learning about the land of Israel. After lunch and a short break, the group had a session on "Jewish" leadership, and some of the Jewish leaders throughout history. As the afternoon continued, the group had more free time to get to know each other, and then had a session to pull all of the learning together, and share some goals for their leadership in addressing community needs. Roz Fuchs Schwartz, founder of the program came to share some history of the Orlando Jewish community, and tell the group about Jerry Bornstein. The retreat ended with Havdallah.

When asked about the best part of the retreat, one participant said, "Meeting new people who share similar goals and understanding." Another shared that they learned from the Jewish leaders in the Torah that "a leader need's to have passion, ruach, and be a good listener."

Rabbi Gutterman commented about the group: "I had a wonderful time with the cadre of young leaders. I think [that it is] a group that is committed, mature, excited and engaged. I sense that they 'get it'."

The Bornstein leadership program has undergone some changes this year. The program has been streamlined to adapt better to the busy schedule of young people today. The group jumped right in this past December with an opening session hosted by Dr. Laurence Kotler-Berkowitz, senior director of Research, Jewish Federations of North America, and also director of the Berman Jewish Data Bank. Dr. Kotler-Berkowitz presented the findings of the Pew study on North American Jews and the group spent time discussing its local implications. They will have a total of eight sessions, including leadership style assessment, generational giving with Marc Brewer of the Central Florida Foundation, effective communication, lay/professional relationships in the nonprofit agency, as well as time to look at our local community needs and priorities. 

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's mission is to nurture a unified Jewish community that transcends generations and neighborhoods. The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando has been in existence for over 60 years. We are part of a greater umbrella, the Jewish Federations of North America which represents 155 Jewish Federations and over 300 Network communities, raise and distribute more than $3 billion annually for social welfare, social services and educational needs. The Federation movement collectively is among the top 10 charities on the continent, protecting and enhancing the well-being of Jews worldwide through the values of charity, social justice and learning. If you are interested in learning more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando's programming initiatives please visit , http://www.jfgo.org.


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