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Since the agency’s inception, young Jewish professionals have grown into civic leaders by serving on the JCYS Board of Directors. Through board service, emerging leaders develop new skills and participate in hands-on leadership training among an engaged, committed group of peers.

In recognition of the agency’s longstanding excellence in leadership development, the Jim Joseph Foundation recently selected JCYS as one of 11 grant recipients in North America and Israel to create and expand Jewish leadership development initiatives. As part of this expansion, the agency has launched a new leadership training program: the JCYS Leadership Circle.

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The JCYS Leadership Circle provides Board Members with comprehensive leadership education, including hands-on experience as fiduciaries. By investing in the development of our board members, JCYS empowers rising Jewish leaders who go on to strengthen their communities.

Designates and Board Members

The JCYS Board of Directors is composed of young Jewish professionals—generally between the ages of 26 and 40—who want to serve the community and participate in an immersive leadership development experience. These young professionals begin their leadership journeys with JCYS as Designates. Designates have no voting power, but fully participate in Board activities–including the training provided through the JCYS Leadership Circle-and learn about the duties and responsibilities of engaged Board Members. When a Designate has met the appropriate requirements, he or she becomes a voting Board Member.

The JCYS Leadership Circle allows both Designates and Board Members to develop and enhance the skills they will need for a lifetime of lay leadership. Through the training and education experiences of the JCYS Leadership Circle, Designates and Board Members will:

  • Create a custom, personal development plan for their leadership journey;
  • Participate in the annual JCYS Leadership Boot Camp, a full day of board training designed in partnership with Northwestern University’s Kellogg Center for Nonprofit Management;
  • Partner with a Board Alumni Ambassador to learn from the valuable experience they gained while they were on the board.

If you are interested in becoming a Designate or would like to learn more about the JCYS Leadership Circle, please contact Hannah Bailenson, Leadership Development Coordinator, at hbailenson@jcys.org or (312) 726-8891 ext. 113.

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Board Alumni

Throughout the agency’s 112-year history, over 600 Jewish leaders have served in various roles on the JCYS Board of Directors. When these leaders have completed their board service, they become our treasured Board Alumni and loyal supporters.

Through the JCYS Leadership Society, Board Alumni continue their leadership journey with the agency. The JCYS Leadership Society meets four times a year to receive an agency update from senior leadership and current Board Members. Board Alumni also have opportunities to lead training sessions, mentor JCYS Designates, participate in leadership training, and more.

If you are a Board Alumnus/a and would like to learn more about how to get involved in the JCYS Leadership Society, please contact Samantha Stankowicz, Chief Advancement Officer, at sstankowicz@jcys.org or (312) 726-8891 ext. 122.

The JCYS Leadership Circle is generously supported by the Jim Joseph Foundation.

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