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Meet the Schusterman Fellows: Jen Zwilling

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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.

Meet Jen Zwilling below!

Jennifer Zwilling, is the Vice President for Strategy and Measurement at Hillel International. She played a leadership role in architecting Hillel’s strategic plan and its accompanying business plan, and is currently leading a pilot programs that inform Hillel’s model for supporting local Hillels to achieve success. Jen also leads Hillel’s enterprise-wide effort to use data to track the progress of local affiliates and to generate knowledge of key drivers and best practices that support success.

Jen joined Hillel in 2004 and has held a variety of roles. Among her achievements was leading Hillel’s five-year, senior Jewish educator and peer engagement pilot, which pioneered innovative methods to engage more Jewish students.  Before joining Hillel, Jen was a program director for the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University with a BA in Religious Studies and earned a joint MA in Jewish Communal Service and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.  She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

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

A new cohort of colleagues to challenge and support me as I assume new professional challenges. I'm also looking forward to working with a leadership coach.

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

Leadership means bringing others (a group, an organization) on a journey together to a shared destination. Leadership is evident along that journey—who we invite with us, how we guide others, how we incorporate the perspectives, experiences and expertise of those involved to inform the path, how we navigate the detours and the way we create a destination better than we may have even imagined.

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

Advice: The most effective leaders make time and space for self-care (exercise, family, replenishment).

Do I follow it?  Not nearly enough; particularly the exercise piece. I'm trying!

4. If you were given a surprise day off, how would you spend it?

My time would be spent attending a yoga class, cooking something great, surprising my husband for a lunch date, picking the kids up after school and wishing I'd have another day to then tackle the family's never-ending to-do list.

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

Chocolate?  Or vacation time and resources to travel!

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.