Meet the Schusterman Fellows: Dina Buchbinder Auron

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Over the course of 18 months, 24 outstanding Jewish professionals will engage in a customized professional development journey as part of the Schusterman Fellowship. The Fellows come from across the U.S., Europe, Israel and Australia, and they work inside and outside of the Jewish sector. As part of this blog series, we'll be bringing you short interviews with each of the Fellows in which they'll share a bit about themselves and their vision for the future. 

Meet Dina Buchbinder Auron below!

Dina is a social entrepreneur that has introduced an innovative, action-oriented education model called Sports for Sharing to education systems that have long struggled with passivity and rigidity. Sports for Sharing empowers teachers from a variety of school settings to promote awareness about global challenges, foster social and environmental participation, while teaching values, such as gender, empathy, teamwork and fair play. Currently Sports for Sharing has expanded into "Education for Sharing" which includes science, art and other initiatives in its portfolio.

Since its inception in 2007, Education for Sharing has reached more than 489,103 children, teachers and families in Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina and The Dominican Republic. Dina is an Ashoka Fellow and a member of the board of directors of the International Youth Foundation. She is a Vital Voices Lead Fellow and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Dina is a proud Schusterman Fellow and a 2014 Hubert Humphrey Fellow in Urban Planning at MIT. Currently Dina is completing the Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration Edward S. Mason Program at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Gleitsman Fellow.

Dina loves ice cream and surfing.

1. What are you most excited to gain from the Fellowship? What are you most looking forward to learning?

I am thirsty to learn from the other passionate fellows and coaches, and understand how they achieve what they believe in. What are their perspectives? How do they evaluate, transcend obstacles and highlight the positive outcomes of their projects? My hope is to be inspired by other Fellows and also be a source of inspiration for them.

In terms of skills, I want to learn how to:

  • Better manage organizations, projects and make them grow sustainably.
  • Generate effective ideas to maximize the impact of communications with limited time, staff and budget.
  • Achieve strategic and effective communications, cultivating individual donors, governance, facilitation skills and evaluation.

2. "Leadership" is a popular term these days, used in a variety of contexts. Tell us, what does leadership mean to you?

Being a leader is really all about working with people to achieve a common goal, supported by a sense of belonging, and being both inspired and inspiring. I have always felt the need to work with people for a common purpose. Leadership to me means showing by example, actively listening to others with enthusiasm and genuine interest, acting with intention, recognizing our mistakes to learn from them and incorporate. It means working with others, creating a strong team of diverse people who share a common goal and focusing on the best in people in order to move ahead.

3. What is the greatest piece of leadership advice you have received and do you use it?

The best leadership advice I have received is to know what you deeply believe in, and work with others as different as possible from you who share 1) that belief and 2) a set of values. I have used it non-stop and have learned enormously from all the experts around me.

4. How does your Jewish identity affect your leadership?

I have always felt the need to work with people for a common purpose. I think the first time this need became clear to me was when I was a madricha (educator) at the tnua (Jewish Youth Movement) I was involved with in Mexico for about 6 years. This need to work with others became clearer as time passed. Being active in a tnua taught me a lot. I learned how to translate abstract concepts like Jewish traditions with deep meaning through fun games that allowed the youngest kids to understand on a different level. My Jewish identity makes me more aware of the meaning of diversity and the importance of inclusion, it becomes a responsibility to be aware and to include other identities.

5. If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

The greatest satisfaction or compensation is to feel useful or valuable in your community, to make a positive difference in peopleĀ“s lives. I believe in making other people feel that "usefulness" because once you realize that, you can only keep on contributing to a better world.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.