On Monday, July 25th, the Jewish Leadership Education and Development (JLEAD) program held a Graduation Ceremony for its inaugural class of eight outstanding young leaders in the Santa Barbara community: Adam Klein, Briana Sapp Tivey, Carly Simon-Gersuk, Christopher Berry, Evan Bender, Kendra Silverman, Kimberly Malesky, and Samantha Bearman.
The ceremony included remarks from JFGSB Executive Director Michael Rassler, JLEAD Coordinator extraordinaire Jilli Spear, and a special presentation from Debbie Margolis, JFNA National Women’s Philanthropy Board Member and an active Jewish leader in Orange County. Debbie stressed the importance of encouraging young leaders to champion the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and L'Dor V'Dor (from generation to generation) to ensure a vibrant and sustained future for our history, culture, and livelihood.
Each graduate had a chance to express how the JLEAD program impacted them over the past ten months. They shared a common theme of developing relationships, appreciation for the Jewish Federation’s mission and work, and the importance of cultivating leaders in our community. Graduation concluded with the inauguration of the JLEAD Kosher Food Pantry, which seeks to support food insecure individuals while reflecting our commitment to Tzedakah (justice), Tikkun Olam (repair of the world), and serving community members in need with Kavod (respect).
JLEAD is a unique, high caliber 10-month leadership program for Jewish community members that live and/or work in the Greater Santa Barbara area. It is open to students and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who want to better understand the Jewish community locally and internationally, while simultaneously engage in leadership skill development.
The JLEAD graduates would like to thank the following community leaders for their support:
Mentors: Adele Rosen, Barbara Ben-Horin, Bob Temkin, Ira Youdovin, Joan Rothenberg, Kandy Luria Budgor, Laini Millar Melnick, and Michael Nissenson.
Facilitators: Beverly Woznica, David Saganaw, Debra Stein, Ken Oplinger, Patricia Schwartz, and William Daroff.
JFGSB Staff: Jilli Spear, Julie Levine Rubin, and Michael Rassler.