Shabbat Retreat engages, inspires 2015-16 Bornstein Class


Participants in the Bornstein Shabbat Retreat gather before outdoor Shabbat services at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Shown here (l-r): Rabbi Lou Feldstein, Isaac Greenberg, JFGO Executive Director Olga Yorish, Heidi Zissman, Ming Marx, Marissa Branisavljevic, Jessica Hoch, Michelle Zaltsberg, Ari Vinokur, Alaina Wilder, and Bornstein Program Director Marli Porth.

On Nov. 13, the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort hosted two important events: the Florida Republican Party's Sunshine Summit, which included all of the party's major presidential candidates, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando (JFGO)'s Jerome J. Bornstein Leadership Development Program Shabbat Retreat.

Facilitated by Rabbi Lou Feldstein of Dynamic Change Solutions, the retreat allowed the 2015-16 Bornstein class to spend Shabbat engaging together in prayer, Torah study, and intense sessions on leadership, self and community.  Class members shared deeply personal stories about themselves, their families, and their commitment to Judaism and the Jewish community. Their stories ranged from lessons passed down from grandparents and parents to life-changing experiences in Israel to specific mentors who inspired action.

At the retreat's final session before Havdallah, the class reflected on their 24 hours together. Class member and current JFGO board member Jessica Hoch summarized the group's experience: "The time together was rejuvenating, inspiring and made me want to do more. I am really excited about these new friendships and to know that we will be working together to ensure a bright future for our Jewish community here in Orlando.

Graduates of the Bornstein program have gone on to serve on boards and hold top leadership positions at many of Central Florida's synagogues and Jewish agencies. Participants learn how to assess and maximize their leadership styles; effective board, meeting, and volunteer management; specific challenges and opportunities related to the Jewish community, both locally and nationally; engagement around Israel; and how to define their own Jewishness to better understand and appreciate a chosen path to serving the community. 

After completion of the program, each graduate will serve a one-year board internship at the local Jewish agency or synagogue of their choice.


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