GREATER SPRINGFIELD — Rabbi James Greene, assistant executive director of the Springfield JCC, is one of 16 fellows named to the executive leadership program of the Mandel Institute for Nonprofit Leadership. This program responds to a need for leadership to navigate a rapidly changing social, cultural and organizational landscape.
“Jewish people globally and locally are replacing the traditional ‘synagogue membership’ practice with a more relational approach to Jewish life, especially for younger generations,” Rabbi Greene explained. “How they choose to ‘do Jewish’ comes down to personal preferences. We see the diverging of Jewish life and practice reflected in our membership at the Springfield JCC.”
Greene joins senior leaders from JCCs and Jewish Federations from across North America who are also a part of the executive leadership program, which provides them with an opportunity to frame community challenges, envision communal futures, strategize for their organizations and gain critical leadership and management skills.
Among the 16, ten are Jewish Federations staff members who work mostly in planning and fundraising, six are JCC staff members, and two are rabbis, including Rabbi James Greene and Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia, Rabbi Greene’s friend and colleague at the Los Gatos JCC where Rabbi Greene worked before coming to Springfield. The 16-month program includes seminars in Boston, one in Israel, learning opportunities between seminars, and individual work with a mentor.
“This fellowship is, in part, hoping to give space for emerging community leaders to struggle with these shifting dynamics so that we are better prepared to respond to the challenges of our generation,” says Greene.