In a vibrant and engaging mid-year gathering, our Leadership and Advancement Series (L.A.S.) brought together a diverse panel of Jewish communal professionals and lay leaders. The event was an illuminating exploration of multifaceted topics, delving into crucial aspects of community involvement, personal growth, and the collective support for Israeli causes. We were honored to be joined by a phenomenal panel:

    • Moderator: Rachel Hoffer, Board Chair, Center for Jewish Philanthropy of Greater Phoenix, Member of the Board of Governors, The Jewish Agency for Israel, and Member, BBYO’s International Board of Directors
    • Ellen Friedman Sacks, Executive Director at Jewish Free Loan
    • Rabbi Michael Beyo, CEO, East Valley JCC
    • Marc Lerner, Hearing Attorney, Mercy Care and Past President of Congregation Beth Israel and Former Chair of the ADL Regional Advisory Board
    • Ellen Weiss, Certified Integrative Health Coach, Master Workplace Wellness Concierge, and Executive Wellness Consultant, CJP Women IN Philanthropy Chair and accomplished lay leader in the Buffalo Jewish Community.

Here’s a glimpse into the enriching discussions that unfolded:

Community Support for Israelis: Local and Global Impact: Given recent events, the gathering shed light on the remarkable support extended by our local community to Israelis, both locally and in Israel, over the past two months. The panel illuminated the myriad ways in which our community rallied together, showcasing solidarity and tangible support for our Israeli counterparts during challenging times.

Deepening Community Involvement: Getting Started and Choosing Organizations: The panelists provided invaluable insights on how individuals can deepen their engagement within the community. From practical tips on getting started to the importance of aligning with organizations that resonate with one’s values, the discussions offered a roadmap for meaningful involvement.

Stepping Outside Comfort Zones for New Opportunities: A recurring theme was the significance of embracing discomfort and venturing beyond one’s comfort zone to seize new opportunities. Panel members shared personal anecdotes, highlighting the transformative power of taking calculated risks and embracing unfamiliar roles for personal and communal growth.

Balancing Work, Life, and Leadership Roles: Balancing multiple roles as a professional, community leader, and individual was another crucial area of exploration. Strategies for achieving equilibrium, managing priorities, and maintaining a healthy work-life-leadership balance were discussed, offering practical advice for those navigating similar roles.

CJP’s Role as a Convener: Central to the conversation was the pivotal role of CJP in fostering community connections and serving as a catalyst for collective action. The panel underscored CJP’s commitment to convening diverse individuals and organizations and facilitating impactful initiatives, emphasizing the power of unity in driving positive change.

Moreover, participants had the opportunity to learn about and engage with some of the fantastic organizations in our community. Jewish Free Loan, East Valley JCC, ADL, and several other remarkable organizations were highlighted, showcasing their impactful work and avenues for individuals to contribute to causes close to their hearts.

The gathering was not only an exchange of ideas but a testament to the strength of our community’s commitment to collective progress. Rooted in our teachings, Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh. Ba Zeh—All Jews are responsible for another. The evening served as a reminder of the power of collaboration, shared values, and the impact individuals can make when united in purpose.

Thank you to the panelists, mentees, our mentors that give so much of themselves, and everyone involved in making L.A.S. such an enriching and impactful program!

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