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Program Overview

Certificate in Jewish Leadership

Jewish Leadership Program

The curriculum is rooted in the belief that Judaism has its own distinct and insightful approaches to leadership. Through lectures, group work and individual mentoring led by Northwestern University and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership faculty, as well as prominent nonprofit and business leaders in the Jewish community, participants will learn best practices drawn from contemporary leadership principles and classical Jewish texts and thought.

About the Jewish Leadership Program

Program Goals for Jewish Leadership

Participants who complete the program will be able to:

  • Analyze, explain, and model what it means to be an effective leader by drawing upon Jewish scholarship and classical texts and best practices.
  • Apply ethical principles based on Jewish traditions into daily leadership practices.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key qualities of effective leadership based on contemporary leadership theory.
  • Develop a repertoire of supervisory, conflict resolution and change management skills.
  • Implement strategies and techniques for effective collaboration, team building and communication.
  • Synthesize what is learned in this program to solve problems within the participant's organization.

Program Courses for Jewish Leadership

Explore all the Jewish Leadership Program Courses for detail on the program's offerings.

A Unique Partnership

Innovative Faith-based Program

Dr. Hal Lewis

I believe in the teaching of Moses Maimonides who instructed us to "consider the truth, regardless of the source." As such, I draw inspiration as a CEO from classical Jewish sources on humility, power sharing, and ethics, and at the same time, I am guided by the teachings of today's preeminent thinkers on leadership in areas that range from collaboration to succession planning.”

— Dr. Hal M. Lewis, President and CEO Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership

I'm very proud to support the new Certificate in Jewish Leadership program offered by Northwestern's School of Professional Studies in cooperation with the Spertus Institute. This innovative program will provide Jewish leaders the opportunity to enhance their professional careers in the context of their personal faith. It will be a wonderful addition to our leadership programs in the School of Professional Studies.”

— Dr. Morton Schapiro, President, Northwestern University

Dr. Morton Schapiro, President, Northwestern University

Certificate Requirements for Jewish Leadership

The curriculum is a four-module sequence offered on the campuses of Northwestern University in Evanston and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. Participants proceed through the curriculum as a cohort, which provides opportunities for peer learning and networking. Students must complete the entire program of study to earn a certificate.

Jewish Leadership Program Structure

The curriculum is a four-module sequence offered on Northwestern's Evanston campus and at Spertus Institute in Chicago's South Loop. It begins with an intensive two-day seminar and continues with three modules, the first two meeting on Monday evenings and the last another two-day session on a Sunday and Monday. Exact meeting times and starts dates will be worked out by consensus once the cohort fills up.

Jewish Leadership Professional Mentoring

A unique and essential aspect of the program will be its focus on the mentoring of participants by seasoned Jewish professional and lay leaders. These mentors will serve in the capstone project, where they will lend their expertise to the participants' real-world challenges. Mentoring is one of the most unique aspects of the program. Each student is assigned a professional mentor who has extensive senior-level experience in Jewish leadership positions. Mentors work closely with participants to identify areas for professional growth, to discuss particularly challenging professional issues, and help to weave the classroom learning with professional application. Mentors are drawn from a pool of seasoned Jewish professionals, many of whom have worked with Spertus graduate participants in other mentoring relationships. Each student is assigned an individual mentor, based on the student's particular needs and goals.

Application information for the Jewish Leadership Program

For more information, please visit the Jewish Leadership Program Application Information page or contact the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership at (312) 322-1707.

Tuition and Financial Aid for the Jewish Leadership Program

Complete details about tuition can be found on the Tuition and Financial Aid for the Jewish Leadership Program page.

Careers in Jewish Leadership

Read more on the Careers in Jewish Leadership page.

Find out more about Northwestern's Jewish Leadership Program

Contact Professional Development Team

The Professional Developement Team at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies can be a resource to you for inquiries regarding our certificate programs.

Core Courses for the Jewish Leadership Program

Core Courses:Course Detail
Models of Jewish Leadership <> JW_LEAD 301-0

The first module introduces participants to leadership (as opposed to management), and considers the best practices of effective leadership. Participants complete self-assessments and learn about the impact of leadership style. In this module, Jewish leadership is defined and compared to leadership in the more general context. Classical Jewish teachings and experiences drawn from Jewish communal history are examined for what they can tell us about the notions and development of Jewish leadership models. Finally, participants build a competency model for the program, identifying a range of competencies to acquire based on Jewish leadership principles, and are introduced to the concept and practice of professional mentoring. The integration of classical Jewish thought and texts with professional best practices will be introduced as a signature of the program and all subsequent modules.


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Communications for Leaders <> JW_LEAD 302-0

Participants are introduced to important communications skills and applications. They learn to articulate a vision and serve as advocates for their organizations and programs. They develop skills in advancing agendas in various contexts, including with professional colleagues, lay leaders, funders, and external constituents. Participants gain experience in constructively receiving and providing feedback. They learn techniques to improve listening and critical thinking skills, and the ability to pose useful questions. Classical Jewish texts will be examined in considering effective communication skills for leaders.


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Collaboration & Power Sharing <> JW_LEAD 303-0

In this module, participants learn about the value of collaboration for personal and organizational performance. They are introduced to a diversity of tools and practices that foster and improve collaboration. They learn to better manage conflict, build teams, broker lay-professional relations, and engage others. Effective supervision in a variety of contexts will be discussed. This module stresses the importance of gaining and applying knowledge of colleagues and staff members in order to maximize their strengths and skills. Participants are asked to apply collaboration skills acquired in the module to their current professional context. Classical Jewish texts will be examined in considering effective collaboration, with particular emphasis on the notion of shared power.


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Leading People through Change JW_LEAD 305-0

Leaders must understand the past, engage with present conditions, and develop and chart a course for the future. This module helps participants develop skills in problem finding. It also introduces participants to best practices for visioning, planning (including succession planning), and change management. To support strategic development, participants will learn to develop operational systems, conduct environmental scans, develop evaluation tools and implement evaluation processes. Classical Jewish texts as well as contemporary Jewish organizational and communal concerns will be examined in considering the most effective means for leaders to plan and execute for the future.success


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