HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


Nurturing Leadership

Nurturing Leadership

Leadership is not a job title; it’s a character trait that day schools seek to cultivate in each student and extend to all stakeholders. Starting with Jewish perspectives on leadership, this issue investigates ways to support the leadership of the head of school, recommends leadership qualities to develop among students, and gives guidance for developing leadership in faculty and board members.


Pushing Students Beyond Their Comfort Zones

by Wayne L. Firestone Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipStudents

Over the past several years I have had the good fortune of working for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, combining the two perspectives of the Shema (“You shall teach your children diligently”) and of the Talmud by engaging our young people in experiential education under the assumption that they are truly the builders of our people and of the world. In Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of our Fathers, our organization’s namesake Hillel the Elder stated, “A shy person cannot learn” (Mishnah Avot 2:6). Today, our organization encourages Jewish students to leave their comfort zones, to push their personal boundaries and to take an active part in enriching the Jewish people and the world.

Nurturing Leadership in Middle and High School Students

by Suzanne M. Bean Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipStudents

Some say that leadership is difficult to define but easy to recognize in people. Others say that America is suffering from a leadership crisis and that our nation has little confidence in the honesty, integrity, and ethics of leaders in all segments of society. Although the concept of leadership is often studied, researched, and discussed, the art of leadership is still misunderstood, debated, and often neglected. It is resolved, however, that leadership skills can be developed and more intentional endeavors must be made to cultivate bright, young leaders for the future.

Coaching Heads

by Ray Levi Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Leadership

Ray Levi and David Truslow were initially brought together through a PEJE School Improvement Journey Grant and have been conversing regularly for four years. This attempt to speak in writing reflects an effort to replicate the reflective dialogue that is at the heart of a coaching relationship.

Head Support & Evaluation Committee: A Win-Win-Win Strategy

by Steven Lorch Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipBoard Governance

When a head of school is an effective leader, in harmony with the strategic direction set by the board, everyone—a head of school, board, and school community—wins. The one key strategy that most strongly promotes a virtuous cycle of leadership growth for the head and strategic thinking for the board is a well functioning Head Support and Evaluation Committee.

Jewish Day School Headship: Making a Demanding Job More Manageable

by Joshua Elkin Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Leadership

Anyone who knows anything about Jewish day schools (and for that matter, anyone who knows anything about schools in general) acknowledges how critically important a talented and inspiring leader is to the success of each school.

Moses and Mentoring

by Zvi Grumet Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Leadership

Sitting here one week before Pesach I am struck by an uncomfortable truth: Moses was not a great leader. He was afraid of Pharaoh, afraid of his own people, and he made practically no decisions in the entire Exodus story without direct instruction from G-d. No wonder his name is absent from the Haggadah.

Leadership During Uncertain Times

by Rebecca W. Sirbu Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Leadership

With all the glory come all the headaches. At times, being a leader can be extremely challenging. We are in one of those times. The economic downturn has caused the Jewish community, and day schools in particular, to be especially concerned with raising the funds we need to make our schools run. At the same time, some parents are thinking about taking their children out of our schools in order to reduce their household expenses. How can lay leaders and administrators break though the panic and anxiety they may be feeling to continue to lead their schools in the right direction?

When Strict Truth Isn’t the Answer

by Brigitte Dayan Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Leadership

Aaron’s role in the building of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32) has long been the subject of heated debate: was he complicit in this act of idol worship? Or was he merely pacifying the people, who were anxious at Moshe’s delay in returning with the tablets?

Inspiring Innovation in Jewish Day Schools

by Erica Brown Jun 01, 2009
RELATED TOPICS: Leadership

The leadership guru Warren Bennis believes that leadership is not taught but learned. In his article “No Limits to Learning: Bridging the Human Gap,” Bennis mentions two conventional modes of study, maintenance learning and shock learning, and advocates for a third: innovative learning.