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

Looking for future leaders


The Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando’s Jerome J. Bornstein Leadership Development Program is accepting applications for its fall 2019 class. Co-chairs Rhonda Forest and Abby Nelson opened the Bornstein Program’s application period in a community-wide announcement.

The program, named in honor of long-time community volunteer and leader Jerry Bornstein (Z”L), is designed to find the next generation of Jewish leaders in Central Florida and prepare them to address the challenges and opportunities of servicing the community. Those selected for the program participate in a yearlong educational experience that includes deep dives into topics such as leadership style, effective board and volunteer management, and fundraising and budgeting. The program also begins with a Shabbaton retreat, where the leaders get to know each other and begin developing friendships that go hand-in-hand with their future community leadership.

The most recent Bornstein class have already begun to make their mark on the local Jewish community; several of last year’s graduates joined boards and committees at Jewish organizations, including the Holocaust Center and Jewish Family Services. Past Bornstein graduates have gone on to serve on boards and hold top leadership positions at many of Central Florida’s synagogues and Jewish agencies, as well as at the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando.

Federation selects up to 15 individuals in their 30s and 40s each class year to participate. Much of the Bornstein Program’s success is attributable to the outstanding quality of the people selected to participate. Applicants must show leadership potential, demonstrate a commitment to the Central Florida Jewish community, and demonstrate civic or community engagement, among other attributes.

In addition to an application process open to everyone, the Federation is also asking the community at large to help identify potential participants. In their announcement, Forest and Nelson wrote, “The Bornstein Program is about more than just training future board members; it is about a community working together to identify, educate, and lift up those leaders when their time has come. In the end, the whole community benefits from a strong and well-prepared field of next-generation leaders.”

The Bornstein Program begins with a Shabbat retreat Sept. 13 and will conclude in August 2020. Interested applicants can view the full details and requirements, and apply for the program online at jfgo.org/Bornstein. Nominations can be sent to co-chairs Rhonda Forest or Abby Nelson, Federation executive director Keith Dvorchik or community relations director Ben Friedman.


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