Below is a listing of Na’aleh’s current leadership development programs. Please note that unless otherwise indicated, both lay leaders and professionals working in the Jewish community are welcome.

Being Jewish in America:
The Privilege and Price of Whiteness

Tuesday, October 20, 7:00-8:30pm

Facilitator: Bill Robinson, Executive Director of Na’aleh.
Featuring: Yavilah McCoy, CEO of the Diversity consulting group DIMENSIONS Inc.
Cheryl Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Avodah.

for Lay and Professional Leaders in the Jewish Community

Register here.

In this inaugural session of our Leadership Lab Series: Being Jewish in America, we will explore the American Jewish experience, focusing on what it means that (most) Jews have become white with all its privileges and price, while our Jewish communities are increasingly racially diverse. Learn with Cheryl Cook, the Executive Director of Avodah, and Yavilah McCoy, CEO of DIMENSIONS, Inc., as they share their experiences as leaders working to build more inclusive Jewish communities, more equitable power structures in our organizations, and a more racially just world. The evening will be facilitated by Bill Robinson, Executive Director of Na’aleh.

Yavilah McCoy, is the CEO of the Diversity consulting group DIMENSIONS Inc.   Through Dimensions, Yavilah services an international portfolio of clients in the areas of Education, Philanthropy, and Social Justice. As an anti-racism activist with an international platform, Yavilah provides training and consulting to numerous social justice projects that span multiple identities and communities.  Yavilah serves on the steering committee of the national Women’s March and is a pioneer of the Jewish diversity and equity movement, and is an advocate and mentor for the empowerment of a transglobal community of Jews of Color. Yavilah was an inaugural recipient of the Spielberg Foundation’s Joshua Venture Fellowship and directed the launch of the “Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project” for Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Ruderman Family Foundation. Yavilah directed the Bronfman Philanthropy’s Curriculum Initiative in Boston, was voted one of “16 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, is a certified coach for the Auburn Theological Seminary’s Pastoral Coach Training Program, and an inaugural fellow of the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle.  Yavilah is a renowned national speaker, educator, and spiritual practitioner and in celebration of the musical traditions passed down to her from three generations of her African-American Jewish family, is also the writer, producer and performer of the Jewish Gospel theatrical production “The Colors of Water.”

Cheryl Cook is the Chief Executive Officer of Avodah, bringing educational resources and conversations into the Jewish community to strengthen Avodah’s work on poverty and social justice in the United States.

Prior to coming to Avodah, Cheryl served for nine years as Chief Operating Officer of Hazon, where she played a vital role in guiding the organization through an era of significant growth. She has worked across the Jewish community for her career, at JESNA, New Israel Fund, Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, and at the 92nd Street. She has participated in the Selah Leadership program, Advancing Women Professionals Action Learning Team, and the Institute for Jewish Executive Leadership. Cheryl is an active member of her congregation, Congregation Beth Elohim (CBE), and serves on the board of JPRO and the Leadership Team of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable. She holds an M.A. from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University, and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. Cheryl lives in Brooklyn, New York with her spouse and their two children. In her free time, she can be found cycling around Prospect Park or playing board games with her family

How To Elevate Your Virtual Presence

Thursday, October 22, 12:30-1:30pm

Facilitator: Sarah Gershman, Executive Speech Coach and Presentation Skills Trainer

for Lay and Professional Leaders in the Jewish Community

Register here.

As the leader or participant in online meetings, it can be challenging to communicate effectively. In this interactive session, you will learn how to connect emotionally with your audience and make your voice heard. You will learn strategies to get your message across and effectively involve your virtual audience.

To Be or Do: Addressing Racist 

Wednesday, October 28, 9:30-10:30am

Facilitator: Tirrany Thurmond, M.Ed., NCC, LGPC

for Lay and Professional Leaders in the Jewish Community

Register here.

In the fight for racial justice, many ask, “What can I do?” but antiracism requires that we be and do, a change in hearts and behaviors.  Becoming antiracist is the goal and each of us must be in constant pursuit of it. During this interactive session we will continue unpacking the 6 racist bypassing behaviors and growing in our antiracism and equity capacity.

Na’aleh/DFI is using Mind Tools in its communities of practice and now is inviting you to build your skills through Pop Up learning and a cohort series, which you’ll find below.

Pop-Up Learning
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm
Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15

4 Part Series on Adaptive Leadership
Thursdays, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov.12, Nov 19

Facilitator: Mariana Antoniuk 

for Professional Leaders in the Jewish Community

For more information on each pop-up and series and to register, click here.

We are offering online learning for all Professionals working in the Jewish community.

Mind Tools is a customized e-learning platform that is rich, interactive and engaging, that is performance focused and proven to make a lasting impact.

Leadership Learning announces a new program this year:


Join the community in reading three leadership related books and discussing them with some of our favorite Baltimore leaders, Rabbis, and educators.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.
Leadership Convenors: Rachel Siegel, Program Director, Soul Center and Jennifer Millman, Director, Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation of Baltimore

Two conversation times: 
12:00pm on Tuesday, November 17
7:30pm on Thursday, November 19

Register for the first book’s conversation here.
Please register by November 6 for the discussion of book one.

Register here.

We want you to be thinking about leadership through lots of different lenses! All you need to do is buy the books, read them, and register so we can send you a link to the conversations. We have made it easy for you – there will be two conversations on each book so just find a time that fits into your schedule. There is no charge for this new and engaging series.


Title: Wired to Care by Dev Patnaik
Leadership Conveners: Jonah Geller, Director of Business Development, Lost Tribe Esports and Barak Hermann, CEO, Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore

Dates: January, 2021 (exact dates TBD)


Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Leadership Conveners: Rabbi Miram Burg and Rabbi Daniel Burg

Dates: March, 2021 (exact dates TBD)


Consider investing in a “LAY LEADERSHIP PASS” for $180, which gives you unlimited access to all communal events offered through Na’aleh: The Hub for Leadership Learning.*

For more information, click here.