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Schusterman Fellowship

We concluded the Schusterman Fellowship in June 2024 as part of our shift to fully focus our resources in the U.S. on our grantmaking.

What was the Schusterman Fellowship?

The Schusterman Fellowship was our signature leadership development program designed to support, cultivate and invest in exceptional leaders committed to building and sustaining Jewish nonprofits and Israeli civil society.  

In March 2024, we announced our shift to fully focus our resources in the U.S. on our existing grantmaking priorities. As part of this shift, the Schusterman Fellowship, which shaped the leadership of nearly 200 senior professionals over nine years, ended after its seventh cohort. 


Fellows in each cohort. The Schusterman Fellowship has engaged seven cohorts since 2015.


Cohorts engaged from 2015 to 2024.


Members of the Fellowship community.


Countries represented across all cohorts.

Quote from Stacy Schusterman

Day by day, our Fellows continue to change entire systems and communities—driven proudly by their Jewish values, their connection with Israel and their unwavering belief that it is possible to make this world a better place.
Chair, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies

Our Leadership Approach

We launched the Schusterman Fellowship in 2015 to ensure that Jewish communities and Israeli civil society were poised to thrive in the twenty-first century with talented, diverse leaders at the helm. We did so with a strong belief that for leaders to transform their communities, they must first transform themselves. 

That’s why the Schusterman Fellowship took an “inside-out” approach to leadership, which recognized that change begins from within. Our curriculum supported Fellows in developing a comprehensive skillset focused on:

• Leading Self: to cultivate the inner leader 
• Leading Others: to support and empower teams and communities 
• Leading Systems: to drive structural change 
• Leading Sustainably: to ensure long-term leadership is manageable and energizing.  

We incorporated this approach into every element of the Schusterman Fellowship, from how we built our community, to how we developed our curriculum and how we engaged our Senior Fellows (alumni).  

the program and community

Hear directly from Schusterman Fellows about how the program impacted their leadership. (Video: Gitai Silver)

Schusterman Fellows joined the program by participating in our 18-month leadership development curriculum. In diverse cohorts of 25-30 rising executives, our Fellows had the opportunity to develop as authentic, dynamic leaders with the support of executive coaching, in-person gatherings, a customized leadership development plan, a 360-degree leadership assessment and ongoing learning sessions.

Following their time in the program, Fellows became members of a robust alumni community, with opportunities for ongoing support to develop as individuals, organizational leaders and movement builders. 

Quote from Brandon Srot

The Fellowship changed every dimension of my life, allowing me to step into my purpose and flourish. It was a cherished source of constancy, learning and community amid chapters of change and uncertainty. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to contribute to the field of Jewish leadership, both locally and globally, as a Schusterman Fellow.
Cohort 2

the impact

Our Fellows entered the Schusterman Fellowship ready to take their leadership to the next level. They left with the capacity to drive meaningful, lasting change.

Fellows continue to lead a range of initiatives in the United States, Israel and across the globe, bringing the skills and insights from our program to the organizations and people they lead. These include prominent Jewish organizations, efforts to strengthen Israeli society, and rising movements for racial justice, gender equity and LGBTQ+ equality. 


Of Fellows took what they learned in the program back to their organizations or other spheres of influence and continued to apply it 3-4 years later. 


Of Fellows reported that they felt more equipped to deal effectively with leadership challenges following their cohort year. 


Of Fellows experienced some type of career advancement following their cohort year. 





Leadership Development Guide

Based on evaluations of our own programs, the Schusterman Fellowship and Rockwood Leadership Institute compiled five recommendations for how organizations can strengthen their leadership initiatives. 

The guide includes a practical checklist, insights from our evaluation process and resources for promoting diversity and inclusion in leadership programs. 

Leadership Development Guide

Quote from Ilana Kaufman

Developing as a leader through the Fellowship, expanding my network of relationships with colleagues, teachers, and spiritual leaders, and receiving support to advance ideas into real action have been vital touch points. It enabled me to reach out to other Jews of color, be a role model to them, and empower all who seek and deserve the Jewish community connections I was unable to find and grasp years ago.
Cohort 3

reflections and insights

Explore thought leadership from the Schusterman Fellowship team.

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We Ran a Leadership Development Program. This is the Team Culture We Built Together.

Reflecting on nine years leading the Schusterman Fellowship, Colleen Cruikshank, the Director of the leadership development program, offers four ways her team nurtured a workplace culture that kept team members engaged and fulfilled, encouraging them to grow alongside the leaders they supported.

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Looking Back to Look Forward

Ahead of welcoming the sixth cohort of Schusterman Fellows, the Schusterman Fellowship team reflected formally and informally on the leadership development program and its impact. In the spirit of learning and discovery, here are lessons from a longitudinal study that helped the team evaluate the program's success and determine opportunities to grow and evolve.

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Ready for Change

How can you effectively embrace the opportunity for reflection and renewal offered by the Jewish New Year? Choosing a single aspirational word to embody is a great place to start. Invoking just one word can help you chart the path toward meaningful personal transformation with changes that matter.

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Reclaiming the Icebreaker: Encouraging Vulnerability in Group Settings

Icebreakers bring out the nerves in each of us, but we believe they're an important opportunity to form connections, build trust and encourage vulnerability in group settings. Here are a few lessons we learned along the way about using icebreakers to kick off a meaningful experience.

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How and Why We Offer Feedback to Rejected Applicants

The dearth of professional feedback in the Jewish communal sector and beyond weighed on our minds when we designed the application process for the Schusterman Fellowship. That is why, from the start, we decided that when we declined any finalists, we would offer them the chance to receive feedback from our team.

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Leadership Development Program

In partnership with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, we distilled our program evaluation learnings into a resource with practical advice for planning and executing effective leadership programs. Discover the five common elements that helped our leaders find their confidence and a renewed passion and purpose in their work.

our grantmaking

As part of our mission to build more just and inclusive societies in the U.S. and Israel, we remain steadfastly committed to investing in Jewish communal life and Israeli civil society through our grantmaking.

Person uses megaphone at a protest. Behind them, someone holds a sign that reads, "No More Drug War."

United States

In U.S., we're making a strategic shift to deepen our impact through grantmaking in six core issue areas: Criminal Justice, Democracy and Voting Rights, K-12 Education, Gender and Reproductive Equity, our Hometown of Tulsa, and the Jewish Community.

10-15 people pack boxes as part of a volunteer project.


In Israel, we continue to focus on our grantmaking, as well as to operate ROI Community, a global network that connects and mobilizes innovative Jewish and Israeli changemakers to address complex challenges in Jewish communities, Israel and the world.