Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leadership Awards & Institute

The Awards

Is your JCC striving to achieve excellence? Are you working to create a truly effective board? Are your future leaders ready to step into key leadership roles?

We design the JCC Association Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leadership Awards & Institute to help your future leaders understand what exceptional leadership really means, and to appreciate that leadership is intentional and learned.

Emerging JCC Leaders have the responsibility to bring their JCCs into the future. JCC Association is dedicated to assuring that JCCs have the best, most committed, and well-trained leaders—in other words, exceptional! Now is your chance to help prepare them and to honor them at the same time. Nominate your future leader(s) to this dynamic leadership program and reinforce how important it is to your JCC to develop well-trained leaders.

This JCC Association premier leadership training program is named in honor of JCC Association Honorary Chair Esther Leah Ritz, who died in 2003. As an active leader in Milwaukee and in the continental and international arenas, Esther Leah was a visionary who led with great distinction. In addition to holding the presidency of the Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC of Milwaukee, she served as president of JWB, the forerunner of JCC Association, took on the presidency of the JCC Association-Florence G. Heller Research Center, and chaired the World Confederation of JCCs. She was the recipient of one of JCC Association’s highest honors, the Community Builders Award.

The prestigious Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leadership Awards & Training Institute is the ideal commemoration of a woman who exemplified the noblest tradition of communal leadership.

For more information about the Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leadership Awards & Institute, please contact Dori Denelle at tel: (651) 452-2219 or email:


Friday, March 28, 2014

2:00 P.M. — 4:00 P.M.
Session 1: Opening Program and Reception
Meet fellow Esther Leah Ritz Emerging leaders, learn program details and begin the journey.

4:15 P.M. — 5:30 P.M.
Welcome and Shabbat preparation with all Biennial delegates.

7:00 P.M. — 10:00 P.M.
Kabbalat Shabbat JCC style and Shabbat dinner
With all Biennial delegates — ELR will have their own tables for dinner.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

11:00 A.M. — 12:45 P.M.
Session 2: Sourcing Your Leadership Style
Learn to identify the different ways people approach leadership and the way in which your method of interacting with others shapes your effectiveness as a leader.

Facilitator: Stuart Gelles, founder & CEO of Source Management and chief vision officer of Success TV, is a professional development expert with over 25 years of motivational and coaching experience.

1:00 P.M. — 1:45 P.M.

1:45 P.M. — 3:00 P.M.
Session 3: Jewish Leadership Models
What does it mean to be a Jewish leader in the Jewish community? We will examine Jewish perspectives on leadership and what that means for our JCCs today.

Facilitator: Rabbi Daniel Greyber, Biennial scholar-in-residence and Rabbi at Beth El Synagogue in Durham NC, is a former executive director for Camp Ramah and author of Faith Unravels: A Rabbi’s Struggle with Grief and God.

3:00 P.M. — 4:00 P.M.
Session 4: JCC Leadership Panel
What’s so special about being a leader in a JCC today? How do we attract and engage our top communal leaders? Hear from some of the best! A panel of key JCC Association board members, including current and former board chairs, facilitated by JCC Association President & CEO Allan Finkelstein, will share the secret of what kept them involved over time.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

12:45 P.M. — 3:45 P.M.
Session 5: Building and Enhancing Your Leadership Skills
What are the top 10 competencies needed to be a successful JCC leader? How do we balance competing demands on us as leaders of our JCCs? This session focuses on our own leadership skills and will help us cultivate those that will enable us to lead our JCCs to thrive. Lunch is included.

Facilitator Noa Peri-Jensch is the founder and principal of Global Momentum, providing training, coaching, consulting, and meeting-facilitation services to businesses, individuals and communities. Her expertise is in leadership development. She is the former regional director of training for Marriott International in Europe.

Before and after this session, ELR Emerging Leaders will participate in general Biennial sessions along with their home delegation.

Monday, March 31, 2014

11:00 A.M. — 12:45 P.M.
All ELR Emerging Leaders will be honored at the Biennial Plenary on Honor & Respect. Have your delegation cheer you on!

12:45 P.M. — 2:30 P.M.
Session 6: Lunch seminar with your JCC Executive/CEO
Now comes the real work – how do we take what we’ve learned back to our JCCs? After reviewing our key take-aways, participants will work with their Executive Directors/CEOs to craft a plan for a new responsibility back in your home JCC. How will we put into practice what we’ve learned in the Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leaders Institute?

Before and after these sessions, and continuing on Tuesday, ELR Emerging Leaders will participate in general Biennial sessions along with their home delegation.

Questions? Contact Dori Denelle, JCC Association, 651-452-2219 or