ACHARAI Fellows Program

The goal of the ACHARAI Fellows Program is to empower Jewish leaders to be more informed, thoughtful, and effective leaders of their Jewish organizations and community by developing leadership competencies through a Jewish lens.

ACHARAI supports Fellows in leading Baltimore Jewish organizations – that play a critical role in building a thriving community – and helps them develop a clear, shared vision of what success looks like for each one.

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Ellen B. Kagen Waghelstein, MSW,  AFP Faculty and Leadership Coach 

Ellen is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown Leadership Academy, a national learning and consultation effort on effective leadership and change management for professionals and civic activists. She has over 30 years of experience training, coaching, and facilitating at the national, state, and local levels and regularly works with such entities as the World Bank, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Council on Mental Wellbeing, The Harvard Berkman/Klein Center, US State Department, Michigan Office of Children, Youth and Families, Missouri Department of Mental Health, New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities and Maryland Child Welfare Academy. She currently directs the Kagen Fellows Program in Washington State and Georgia and created Coach Approach Partners to teach coaching and communication skills to leaders across the country. She is on the founding faculty of Preside, a national program that links Leadership and Governance through a Jewish Lens.   

In addition to her professional experience, Ellen has a wide range of lay leadership involvement at the local, national, and international levels. She is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program and is a past chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. She currently serves on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and is a trustee of their Jewish Community Foundation. She is the 2019 recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland award and was recently selected to join the Shalom Hartman Muslim Leadership Institute. She also served on the founding Board of BBYO and two innovative start-ups, Judaism Alive and JChoice. Ellen was the founding president of the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, the collaborative education and identity building agency in Greater Washington, DC where she successfully integrated three separate organizations into one new entity. She also co-led the efforts to create a nationally recognized, community-wide, teen identity agency called JET, Jewish Experiences for Teens. 

Ellen and her husband, David, established the Waghelstein Family Hopes and Dreams Endowment Fund to further advance leadership opportunities for emerging activists. Ellen is delighted to continue her service to the Baltimore Jewish Community through her work with ACHARAI and Na’aleh.