Work experience

Work experience
May 2009 - Present

Nominated for Fellowship

On May 13th 2009, Rabbi Ari Segal, head of school at Robert M. Beren Academy, nominates me to be part of the first cohort of the Jim Joseph Fellowship. I excitedly begin filling out the application.

May 2009 - Present

Accepted to Semi-Finalist stage

On May 27th 2009 I get an e-mail saying I have been accepted to the Semi-Finalist stage of the application process. This begins a week of intense discussion using google groups. We later called this process "survivor". It was a very interesting process and some important discussions were had. In my group I was the 3rd top poster (30 posts), with the top poster, Barry (39 posts) also becoming a fellow. What ever happened to the second highest poster?

Jun 2009 - Present

Finalist Stage

On June 7th 2009, I get an e-mail that I am a finalist! I am told that I will have the good fortune of meeting Rabbi Shalom Berger of the Lookstein Center and will have a face-to-face interview. I suggested he pack some food because we have very few fine dining kosher eateries assuming he planned to take me for a steak dinner. He wasn't.

Jun 2009 - Present

Meet Shalom Berger

On June 16th 2009, I meet with Shalom Berger at Robert M. Beren Academy where we talk about the school, my job, my life, my goals and what I think I would gain and bring to the fellowship. I give Shalom my "vision" packet I put together as well a lesson plan that I revamped from Then we went to the JCC for lunch and continued our discussion. At lunch I was introduced to what I thought was my competition, Jonathan Fass, but happily found out he too was accepted into the fellowship so I called off the hit.

Jul 2009 - Present


On July 3rd 2009, I get an email stating that I was chosen to be part of the very first cohort of Jim Joseph Foundation Fellows. I was excited and looking forward to something very special. I am not sure what I did first, but I did consider going to Disney Land, but realized I was no longer in Los Angeles.

Sep 2009 - Present

1st Fellowship Webinar

On Sept. 3rd 2009, we had our first webinar on the Wimba platform where we all got to know each other a little. Each fellow presented a slide and spoke for a brief time. While our relationships have grown significantly since that first webinar, this was our first step together. It will never be forgotten. Ok, the truth is I completely forgot about this webinar until I looked at my previous e-mails...but now it will never be forgotten.

Oct 2009 - Present

Los Angeles Retreat

One Oct. 25th-27th 2009, we had our first face to face retreat at the beautiful Brandeis-Bardin campus In the hills of Simi Valley, California. Here we got to get to know our fellow fellows, meet the Lookstein staff and be introduced to Naava Frank and Nancy White, experts in the field of communities of practice. We spent most of our time on the theoretical foundation of CoP's which was fascinating, but for me it was the initial group bonding that made it a great retreat.

Dec 2009 - Present

Israel Retreat

On December 22nd -31st 2009, we all headed to Eretz Yisroel for an amazing retreat that would become a journey through the past and to the future. We studied from great minds in the fields of history, anthropology, education, music, art and technology. We spent almost every day on a guided tour though historical communities around Israel and applied what they experienced to what we were about to build. It has been my highlight of the fellowship and the experience remains with me and continues to guide what I am creating. Plus we got upgraded to suites.

Feb 2010 - Present

Florida Retreat

On February 22nd-23rd 2010 we headed to the state of oranges, alligators and hurricanes. Thank G-d we had none of those (ok, I had some orange juice) and only had another retreat. This one focused on some new technology (second life), meeting our executive coaches and working with our fellows and coaches on developing our CoP's. It was here that I decided on focusing my CoP on therapists in Jewish day schools. I also met my coach Jane Walsh who has been a tremendous help in framing and developing my CoP. I also had the chance to teach some of my fellow fellows on using Ning.

May 2010 - Present

JCoP Launch

On May 1st 2010, the JCoP started with the formation of a design team. Since then, with collabartion of the design team, guidance from my coach, Esther and Shalom and the fellows, the JCoP is staying on track for an initial join invitation in September and a live launch date mid-October.

The JCoP has also partnered with The Institute of University-School Partnership of Yeshiva University which hopes to increase its network and resources to have a larger impact.

Oct 2010 - Present

Boston Retreat

On October 10th-12th, 2010 we found ourselves in bean town focused on leadership styles and logic models. This was the retreat where we all took the DiSC Leadership Style Assessment. Most found it rather revealing and Rae Ringel did a great job of facilitating discussions about it and talking many of us off the ledge. Understanding leadership styles, and more importantly, personal leadership styles is integral to successful faciliation of our online CoPs. So, is understanding our short and long term goals for our CoP's. This is where the logic models came in.

At this retreat, we also focused on getting our goals structured within a logic model. I, along with my executive coach and a few other fellows, the JCoP logic model was born.This process helped solidify and focus the goals for the future of the JCoP. Click here to see the JCoP logic model.

Nov 2010 - Present

Public Launch of the JCoP

On November 4th, 2010 invitations went out to hundreds of Jewish day schools inviting their guidance counselors to join the JCoP. At this point, the JCoP was a private CoP for mental health professionals in Jewish day schools. The response was highly positive and we our first week live we had ten new members join the CoP. We began to grow slowly, but it soon became clear that a private group was creating some challenges and barriers to growth. I would continue to populate the CoP and engage the members, but some serious reimaging of the CoP was needed if the CoP was to have the larger impact I intended. The second retreat to Israel would prove extremely helpful in this reimaging.

Mar 2011 - Present

Reimaging of the JCoP

On March 11th, 2011, the JCoP was reimagined and relaunched. The platform was changed and the site completely redesigned. The JCoP was also made public and open to mental health professionals, educators and lay leaders involved and interested in social/emotional issues among Jewish youth. With these changes, new invitations went out and within twenty four hours, membership had almost doubled. In the last few month since the new launch, we went from 24 members to 83 members.

Aug 2011 - Present

Beyond the Fellowship: The Future of the JCoP

I began the JCoP because social/emotional issues among young people are often neglected in educational settings and are the first area of student support to be cut. The JCoP exists to support those who work in this field, advocate for more school services and maximize our positive impact on the well being of Jewish children.

This CoP is more than a project of the fellowship for me and is a community that I wish to continue to grow and continue to impact the field. I will continue to faciliate the JCoP, look to increase membership as well as increase member engagement. I also hope to find more partners and sponsors to support this CoP.

The immediate expansion plan is to create a local face to face JCoP group in Los Angeles as well as create some workshops for the JCoP. I hope the JCoP is a community of practice that last many years beyond the fellowship.

Dec 2010 - Present

Israel Retreat Part Deux

From December 13th-23rd, 2010 was the second and final Isreal retreat. The focus was on innovation and creativity and I loved every minute of it! From Google Israel to Jerusalem Venture Partners, we were introduced to companies that impacted the world through thinking in new and innovative ways to reach their goals. We also explored and discussed innovative ways to tackle challenges within our own CoP's. It was in this retreat I reimagined ways to expand the JCoP.

It was a great retreat and one I will never forget. While I was on the retreat I posted nearly daily. To read more about the retreat enjoy my posts below.

Blog Posts:

  1. Headed to Israel for the JJF fellowship
  2. Let the Fellowship begin!
  3. Systematic Inventive Thinking (S.I.T.). A method to our maddness
  4. Innovation in Tefillah
  5. A day in the footsteps of Baron Rothschild and the sweet taste of innovation.
  6. The Children of Huang Shi and the power of media in education
  7. Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and true social profit innovation
  8. Seeing through the eyes of another. The "Nalaga’at" Center.
  9. Funny, you don’t look Druze-ish?
  10. Google Israel: A photo essay