The Women's Jewish Learning Center

Where can you find innovative Jewish learning for women in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area? The Women's Jewish learning is a place where women's minds grow and women's voices are heard.

Location: Scottsdale , Arizona
Year founded: 2010

Description

At the Women’s Jewish Learning Center, diverse groups of Phoenix women study Jewish texts, literature, and values together. We believe that in order for the larger Jewish community to thrive, more women need to participate in communal decision-making, and that decision-making needs to be grounded in Jewish values and texts. We are seeking relationships with grant-makers who support innovative thinking, building Jewish literacy, and broadening the diversity of community decision-makers.

The Women's Leadership Institute

About

The Women's Leadership Institute came into being in order to remedy an under-representation of women in community leadership positions. We began one year ago, and the ten young women of our first cohort (we've since begun a second) have already energized and expanded the work of various communal programs and institutions. The innovative aspect of the program is actually the combination of its components: Jewish text study, study of leadership best practices, working with a mentor, and undertaking a project for the community. Many leadership development programs do the study without the work, or the mentor experience plus project without the study. The combination of elements makes for a particularly powerful preparation for leadership work in the community.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of the Women's Leadership Institute is to expand the numbers of women in Phoenix area Jewish Communal leadership, and thereby strengthen and transform the Jewish community.

Back to Top

Program Description

The Women's Leadership Institute has begun to train young women leaders and expanding their presence in Jewish communal leadership. Through a combined program of Jewish text study, leadership best practices and a close relationship with a mentor, the Women's Leadership Institute trains young women to do significant and impactful work in the Jewish community. We have completed one year of the Women's Leadership Institute, and our first cohort of mentees are already at work in the community. Even in this short time, the impacts of their work have been transformational.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

The imperative to develop qualified women for Jewish communal leadership is a loud and clear one. Eighteen months ago, we surveyed the boards of our local institutions, and their numbers tell the story: Jewish Community Center Board: 6 men, 2 women. Jewish Community Center Officers: 4 men, 0 women. Jewish Community Foundation Board: 14 men, 8 women. Jewish Community Foundation Officers: 3 men, 1 woman. Jewish Community Federation Board: 23 men, 6 women. Jewish Community Federation Officers: 4 men, 0 women. Total Board Members: 43 men, 16 women. Total Officers: 11 men, 1 woman. The numbers are clear: Board Members: 63% men, 37% women. Officers: 91% men, 9% women. There was no gender balance at the decision-making levels of the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix. We believe that changing the current status quo can only happen if women are prepared for, recommended and supported in their rise to leadership. Corporate America is learning this lesson and the Jewish community must also. As Barbara Kamm writes in Fast Company "companies with sustained high representation of women on their boards significantly outperformed those with sustained low representation by 84% on return on sales, 60% on return on invested capital, and 46% on return on equity. In fact, international executive search firm Spencer Stuart did a survey in 2012 of U.S. corporate board members, in which 80% agreed that diversity in the boardroom

"generally results in increased value for shareholders." [Fast Company, "Why Corporate Boardrooms Need More Women," 3/27/14]

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Ten carefully
chosen young women, each paired with a mentor, have completed the first round
of this program bringing newly learned leadership skills to our community. The goals
were, and remain, deepened personal growth, acquisition of leadership skills
through a Jewish lens, practical application and community involvement. The trainees have gained in confidence through
their willingness to learn, commitment to and enthusiasm for the program
sessions, steady attendance and having met self-created personal and community
goals. Each mentee has undertaken a community commitment, either creating a
project or assuming a significant role in an existing organization. Their successes far surpass the program’s
expectations; their objectives have been exceeded. For a pilot program, the challenges have been surprisingly
minor: tweaking material, adjusting time estimations and noting
adjustments. The wide collaboration
among community organizations and strong mentors have made this process smooth
and the WLI has gained experience and confidence in its ability to meet its
goals and improve and provide women leaders to our community.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

Now passing the halfway point in its second year, the Women’s Leadership Institute’s mentees, nine outstanding young women, are embarking on the practical application of skills learned by working in community agencies or by creating programs for gaps in communal offerings. Projects range from researching family leave policies of all Jewish organizations, to planning and executing the annual meeting of our local Jewish Free Loan, to creating a program to reach out to Jewish military families stationed in Arizona. This carefully vetted and mentored second cohort of the WLI will add a second group of competent volunteer-leaders to add their skills and voices to the Phoenix Jewish Community’s organizations.

We are ready to recruit our third cohort, and take the experience gained and the enthusiasm generated to make the program even more compelling.

The operational goals:

a)Develop among a vetted group of young women the needed skills and in-depth knowledge of Jewish values to assume leadership roles in the Jewish community.

b) Encourage and expand intergenerational networks through interactions within the group, mentors and community-focused project.

c) Provide opportunities for personal growth and new relationships through a deepened knowledge of and commitment to Judaism.

Evidence for success includes a) 100% involvement in community work for the initial cohort, b) a strong network among participants who have provided and continue to provide support, information and ideas for each other; c) Participants’ willingness to recruit others, showing confidence in the process, and mentees who have become mentors for participants in the second cohort.

Back to Top

The Women's Leadership Institute

About

The Women's Leadership Institute came into being in order to remedy an under-representation of women in community leadership positions. We began one year ago, and the ten young women of our first cohort (we've since begun a second) have already energized and expanded the work of various communal programs and institutions. The innovative aspect of the program is actually the combination of its components: Jewish text study, study of leadership best practices, working with a mentor, and undertaking a project for the community. Many leadership development programs do the study without the work, or the mentor experience plus project without the study. The combination of elements makes for a particularly powerful preparation for leadership work in the community.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of the Women's Leadership Institute is to expand the numbers of women in Phoenix area Jewish Communal leadership, and thereby strengthen and transform the Jewish community.

Back to Top

Program Description

The Women's Leadership Institute has begun to train young women leaders and expanding their presence in Jewish communal leadership. Through a combined program of Jewish text study, leadership best practices and a close relationship with a mentor, the Women's Leadership Institute trains young women to do significant and impactful work in the Jewish community. We have completed one year of the Women's Leadership Institute, and our first cohort of mentees are already at work in the community. Even in this short time, the impacts of their work have been transformational.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

The imperative to develop qualified women for Jewish communal leadership is a loud and clear one. Eighteen months ago, we surveyed the boards of our local institutions, and their numbers tell the story: Jewish Community Center Board: 6 men, 2 women. Jewish Community Center Officers: 4 men, 0 women. Jewish Community Foundation Board: 14 men, 8 women. Jewish Community Foundation Officers: 3 men, 1 woman. Jewish Community Federation Board: 23 men, 6 women. Jewish Community Federation Officers: 4 men, 0 women. Total Board Members: 43 men, 16 women. Total Officers: 11 men, 1 woman. The numbers are clear: Board Members: 63% men, 37% women. Officers: 91% men, 9% women. There was no gender balance at the decision-making levels of the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix. We believe that changing the current status quo can only happen if women are prepared for, recommended and supported in their rise to leadership. Corporate America is learning this lesson and the Jewish community must also. As Barbara Kamm writes in Fast Company "companies with sustained high representation of women on their boards significantly outperformed those with sustained low representation by 84% on return on sales, 60% on return on invested capital, and 46% on return on equity. In fact, international executive search firm Spencer Stuart did a survey in 2012 of U.S. corporate board members, in which 80% agreed that diversity in the boardroom

"generally results in increased value for shareholders." [Fast Company, "Why Corporate Boardrooms Need More Women," 3/27/14]

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Ten carefully
chosen young women, each paired with a mentor, have completed the first round
of this program bringing newly learned leadership skills to our community. The goals
were, and remain, deepened personal growth, acquisition of leadership skills
through a Jewish lens, practical application and community involvement. The trainees have gained in confidence through
their willingness to learn, commitment to and enthusiasm for the program
sessions, steady attendance and having met self-created personal and community
goals. Each mentee has undertaken a community commitment, either creating a
project or assuming a significant role in an existing organization. Their successes far surpass the program’s
expectations; their objectives have been exceeded. For a pilot program, the challenges have been surprisingly
minor: tweaking material, adjusting time estimations and noting
adjustments. The wide collaboration
among community organizations and strong mentors have made this process smooth
and the WLI has gained experience and confidence in its ability to meet its
goals and improve and provide women leaders to our community.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

Now passing the halfway point in its second year, the Women’s Leadership Institute’s mentees, nine outstanding young women, are embarking on the practical application of skills learned by working in community agencies or by creating programs for gaps in communal offerings. Projects range from researching family leave policies of all Jewish organizations, to planning and executing the annual meeting of our local Jewish Free Loan, to creating a program to reach out to Jewish military families stationed in Arizona. This carefully vetted and mentored second cohort of the WLI will add a second group of competent volunteer-leaders to add their skills and voices to the Phoenix Jewish Community’s organizations.

We are ready to recruit our third cohort, and take the experience gained and the enthusiasm generated to make the program even more compelling.

The operational goals:

a)Develop among a vetted group of young women the needed skills and in-depth knowledge of Jewish values to assume leadership roles in the Jewish community.

b) Encourage and expand intergenerational networks through interactions within the group, mentors and community-focused project.

c) Provide opportunities for personal growth and new relationships through a deepened knowledge of and commitment to Judaism.

Evidence for success includes a) 100% involvement in community work for the initial cohort, b) a strong network among participants who have provided and continue to provide support, information and ideas for each other; c) Participants’ willingness to recruit others, showing confidence in the process, and mentees who have become mentors for participants in the second cohort.

Back to Top

The Women's Leadership Institute

About

The Women's Leadership Institute came into being in order to remedy an under-representation of women in community leadership positions. We began one year ago, and the ten young women of our first cohort (we've since begun a second) have already energized and expanded the work of various communal programs and institutions. The innovative aspect of the program is actually the combination of its components: Jewish text study, study of leadership best practices, working with a mentor, and undertaking a project for the community. Many leadership development programs do the study without the work, or the mentor experience plus project without the study. The combination of elements makes for a particularly powerful preparation for leadership work in the community.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of the Women's Leadership Institute is to expand the numbers of women in Phoenix area Jewish Communal leadership, and thereby strengthen and transform the Jewish community.

Back to Top

Program Description

The Women's Leadership Institute has begun to train young women leaders and expanding their presence in Jewish communal leadership. Through a combined program of Jewish text study, leadership best practices and a close relationship with a mentor, the Women's Leadership Institute trains young women to do significant and impactful work in the Jewish community. We have completed one year of the Women's Leadership Institute, and our first cohort of mentees are already at work in the community. Even in this short time, the impacts of their work have been transformational.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

The imperative to develop qualified women for Jewish communal leadership is a loud and clear one. Eighteen months ago, we surveyed the boards of our local institutions, and their numbers tell the story: Jewish Community Center Board: 6 men, 2 women. Jewish Community Center Officers: 4 men, 0 women. Jewish Community Foundation Board: 14 men, 8 women. Jewish Community Foundation Officers: 3 men, 1 woman. Jewish Community Federation Board: 23 men, 6 women. Jewish Community Federation Officers: 4 men, 0 women. Total Board Members: 43 men, 16 women. Total Officers: 11 men, 1 woman. The numbers are clear: Board Members: 63% men, 37% women. Officers: 91% men, 9% women. There was no gender balance at the decision-making levels of the Jewish community of Greater Phoenix. We believe that changing the current status quo can only happen if women are prepared for, recommended and supported in their rise to leadership. Corporate America is learning this lesson and the Jewish community must also. As Barbara Kamm writes in Fast Company "companies with sustained high representation of women on their boards significantly outperformed those with sustained low representation by 84% on return on sales, 60% on return on invested capital, and 46% on return on equity. In fact, international executive search firm Spencer Stuart did a survey in 2012 of U.S. corporate board members, in which 80% agreed that diversity in the boardroom

"generally results in increased value for shareholders." [Fast Company, "Why Corporate Boardrooms Need More Women," 3/27/14]

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

Ten carefully
chosen young women, each paired with a mentor, have completed the first round
of this program bringing newly learned leadership skills to our community. The goals
were, and remain, deepened personal growth, acquisition of leadership skills
through a Jewish lens, practical application and community involvement. The trainees have gained in confidence through
their willingness to learn, commitment to and enthusiasm for the program
sessions, steady attendance and having met self-created personal and community
goals. Each mentee has undertaken a community commitment, either creating a
project or assuming a significant role in an existing organization. Their successes far surpass the program’s
expectations; their objectives have been exceeded. For a pilot program, the challenges have been surprisingly
minor: tweaking material, adjusting time estimations and noting
adjustments. The wide collaboration
among community organizations and strong mentors have made this process smooth
and the WLI has gained experience and confidence in its ability to meet its
goals and improve and provide women leaders to our community.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

Now passing the halfway point in its second year, the Women’s Leadership Institute’s mentees, nine outstanding young women, are embarking on the practical application of skills learned by working in community agencies or by creating programs for gaps in communal offerings. Projects range from researching family leave policies of all Jewish organizations, to planning and executing the annual meeting of our local Jewish Free Loan, to creating a program to reach out to Jewish military families stationed in Arizona. This carefully vetted and mentored second cohort of the WLI will add a second group of competent volunteer-leaders to add their skills and voices to the Phoenix Jewish Community’s organizations.

We are ready to recruit our third cohort, and take the experience gained and the enthusiasm generated to make the program even more compelling.

The operational goals:

a)Develop among a vetted group of young women the needed skills and in-depth knowledge of Jewish values to assume leadership roles in the Jewish community.

b) Encourage and expand intergenerational networks through interactions within the group, mentors and community-focused project.

c) Provide opportunities for personal growth and new relationships through a deepened knowledge of and commitment to Judaism.

Evidence for success includes a) 100% involvement in community work for the initial cohort, b) a strong network among participants who have provided and continue to provide support, information and ideas for each other; c) Participants’ willingness to recruit others, showing confidence in the process, and mentees who have become mentors for participants in the second cohort.

Back to Top

×

Are you ready to take your giving circle from idea to reality?

Our Jewish Giving Circle Incubator will help you bring your giving circle to life. Whether you're 23 or 73, interested in social justice or Jewish innovation, and ready to give $50 or $10,000, we want you to join the Incubator. Apply today!

Applications are open until July 31st.

Apply Now
×