The Schusterman Fellowship is a leadership development program for individuals who are committed to growing their capacity to exercise leadership in the Jewish community.

The Fellowship engages highly motivated candidates who see Jewish organizational leadership as an important way to create transformational change in the world. Fellows deeply explore themselves and their leadership and are active players in a collaborative learning community, both contributing and receiving challenge and support.

“The Schusterman Fellowship is a real game-changer. My coach provides me with real-time guidance and helps ensure I make decisions that are best aligned with my personal and professional goals,” said Fellow Hindy Poupko, Deputy Chief Planning Officer at the UJA Federation of New York. “This Fellowship is not just another accolade that I can put on my resume, it’s a true investment in me."

Our Approach

Schusterman Fellows intend to lead lives of purpose, meaning and significant impact. In order to do so, they must realize and exercise their full potential as individual leaders and as a collective force for creating change in their communities and the world. 

The Schusterman Fellowship focuses first on the development of the “inner leader” and then on the development of the “outer leader.” Schusterman Fellows embark on a process of self-awareness, self-understanding and self-development. Through this process, Fellows discover and develop not only who they are as a leader, but who they are as a person and as a Jew. Our intention is to enable leaders to recognize how they are operating; to understand what is driving their actions – beliefs, aspirations, values, fears – and the impact of their actions; and to provide them with tools, strategies and practices to fully align their actions with their intentions. 

The Fellowship is an 18-month program with individualized- and cohort-based learning, with a focus during the last six months on translating that learning into action. The Fellowship will enable Fellows to:

  • Demonstrate increased acumen at critical leadership competencies and skills
  • Assume increased leadership responsibility 
  • Demonstrate increased positive impact through their work
  • Contribute to and gain from a strategic network of high-caliber leaders working toward organizational and societal change
  • Understand and express their unique Jewish leadership
  • Inspire others to take action by bringing their full self to their work


Our first formal evaluation of the program found:

  • 94% of professional Fellows experienced an increase in professional responsibilties
  • 41% of professional Fellows received a formal promotion, two of which were to the C-Suite
  • 80% of lay Fellows experienced an increase in board responsibilities

Read more here.

"The Fellowship experience pushed me to 'think bigger and bolder' about my role as a Jewish leader and the impact I can have," said Fellow Barak Hermann, CEO of the JCC of Greater Baltimore.​

Elements of the Fellowship

Over the course of the Fellowship, Schusterman Fellows partake in a variety of opportunities that will contribute to their growth and development. They are responsible for fulfilling all of the commitments related to the program. This is a highly intensive program designed for individuals who are at a point – both personally and professionally – when they are willing and able to commit significant time (roughly a few hours per month) and energy toward their own learning and development, as well as the development of others. 

Fellows experience: 

  • Personalized 360-degree Leadership Assessment
  • Customized Leadership Development Plan: Schusterman provides significant funding to support the pursuit of leadership advancement through approved providers. 
  • Executive Coaching
  • Three three-day U.S.-based in-person gatherings and a bi-annual gathering of Senior Fellows from previous cohorts
  • Change Initiative or Change Inquiry: Fellows spend six months directly applying what they've learned through the program. Each Fellows designs and pursues either a Change Inquiry to explore a big question facing the Jewish community or a Change Initiative to address a pressing problem in the organization where they work or volunteer.
  • Participant Strategic Network and Shared Learning Experience
  • Online discussions around leadership topics
  • Upon completion of the program, Fellows have access to our Senior Fellows Network. In addition to bi-annual in-person gatherings and an online learning series, the Fellowship community facilitates ongoing interactions and relationships among its members around the world.

"I valued that we got to move through the experience as a cohort, while also tailoring our experiences to our personal leadership goals," said Fellow Rebecca Youngerman, consultant and Jewish community lay leader. "I am drawing from and building upon my Fellowship experience regularly."

Who is Eligible?

The Schusterman Fellowship is a nomination- based application process. The program is designed for individuals who are prime candidates for C-suite or lay leadership roles in a major Jewish organization within the next few years. Schusterman seeks candidates who have exhibited strong leadership in their current capacity and have proven they have potential to lead at a high level. Candidates must be at a point along their personal and professional trajectories when they desire to take on progressively challenging roles and responsibilities. 

Although age, years of professional experience and number of direct reports are not determinants of eligibility, the typical candidate has 8-12 years of experience and is responsible for overseeing departments, staff and/or programs within their organization or has substantial experience serving on the board of a Jewish organization.

To learn more, please contact Abby Saloma at [email protected].