22 young Jewish leaders celebrate development programme graduation

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22 young Jewish leaders celebrate development programme graduation

First cohort of Adam Science participants since the Covid pandemic

ASLP cohort 2022-23 group photo with Programme Director Michelle Janes and Programme Manager Nick Young. Pic: Amanda Ward
ASLP cohort 2022-23 group photo with Programme Director Michelle Janes and Programme Manager Nick Young. Pic: Amanda Ward

The newest, and largest cohort of emerging lay and professional leaders on the famed Adam Science Leadership Programme (ASLP) celebrated their graduation last Thursday 29th February at Jami’s Head Room Café in Golders Green.

The programme, now run by Lead (the leadership development division of the Jewish Leadership Council) was established in 1992 in memory of the late Adam Science, a passionate lay leader who worked tirelessly to get people involved in the community.

Since that time the ASLP has become an institution, with more than 300 alumni, many of whom have gone on to take senior lay and professional roles in the community.

This cohort, which brought together young leaders of all denominations with a cross-section of skills from Jewish communal organisations, began in late 2022. The group followed a programme of in-person and online sessions covering leadership, management skills and featured eminent communal speakers. Above all, however, was the opportunity for networking and strengthening collaboration across the community.

L to R, Keith Black (JLC Chair), Debbie Fox (JLC Vice-Chair, Chair of Lead), Avi Goldberg (Founder of programme and friend of Adam Science). Pic: Amanda Ward

This programme featured a number of firsts; It was the first ASLP since the pandemic. This was also the largest ever group, with 22 graduates. It was also the first to feature a Northern cohort, with participants in Manchester supported by UJIA and the Manchester Jewish Rep Council, who will shortly be holding their own graduation ceremony.

This group had originally been scheduled to graduate in November, but tragic events in Israel meant postponing, and although not all graduates were able to be present on this rearranged date, some joined online, and those absent were present in spirit.

L to R, graduates Michali Greenberg (University Jewish Chaplaincy), Laurie Shone (Mitzvah Day, Jonny Ison (United Synagogue), Jordan Sapler (Maccabi GB). Pic: Amanda Ward

Certificates and awards were presented by JLC Chair Keith Black and the group were addressed by Avi Goldberg, one of the founders of the programme and a close friend of Adam Science, and also by Austen and Romi Science (Adam’s father and niece) who joined online from Israel and expressed their pride at the way in which Adam’s legacy is being carried forward by this emerging group as with previous cohorts.

Jonny Ison, marketing and communications manager at the United Synagogue and a member of the current cohort, said: “At the end of a programme of learning together and bonding that has spanned nearly a year and a half, it’s been really special to see everybody coming together tonight.”

Sarah Koster, young families lead at Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue, said: “This evening has rounded it off really nicely. We can now move on to continue our leadership journeys, but hopefully keep reconnecting with each other and supporting each other.”

JLC chief executive officer Claudia Mendoza, herself an Adam Science graduate in 2009, said; “Tonight reinforces that there’s a brilliant wealth of talent out there and we will very happily be able to hand over to  them in due course.”

Lead will be looking to recruit the next Adam Science cohort later in 2024. Please contact nick@thejlc.org for more information.

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