The Associated Announces 2023-2025 Young Leadership Council Cohort


The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore recently announced the newest cohort of Young Leadership Council members, who will be learning from some of the Baltimore’s Jewish community’s leaders, as well as from each other.

Members of the 2021-2023 Young Leadership Council (Courtesy of Chana Friedman)

The two-year program is aimed at young adults ages 27-39, and sees them participating in monthly seminars and working with The Associated’s nonprofit partners. Former YLC graduates have gone on to work for The Associated or have become community leaders at other Jewish organizations once their time with the council was over, according to the program’s website.

The 2023-2025 cohort of YLC members includes Alexis Gorenstein, Arielle Garber, Avi Wolasky, Ben Waller, Elana Taub, Heather Brown, Jacob Dorfman, Jeff Pensak, Joey Fink, Alexis Gorenstein, Jordan Hirsch, Lauren Sibel, Leib Price, Max Cardin, Merav Levine, Parker Schnell and Sarenka Smith. They were all, chosen after a detailed evaluation process, with applicants requiring a letter of recommendation and having to participate in interviews with Associated staff members.

“We had many wonderful applicants apply to the program but we chose to limit our number to 16 participants. This allows us to have a blend of backgrounds, skills and opinions while maintaining a warm small cohort feeling,” explained Chana “Hannah” Friedman, one of two YLC chairs for the 2023-2025 term. “The number of applicants we have speaks volumes for the community about how many young adults want to get involved and become leaders within the community.”

Friedman actually graduated from YLC herself in May 2023 along with her co-chair, Mike Hurwitz. The two of them worked with Young Adult Division director Ali Duhan and YAD senior development associate Sarah Machlis on selecting applications and creating YLC programming.

Over the two-year span of the program, participants will spend the first year meeting with lay and community leaders and getting a better understanding of The Associated’s inner workings. Every month, a participant will create and hosts a presentation about one of The Associated’s many boards. During the second year of the program, YLC members will join these boards themselves as observers, which helps them get Jewish leadership experience firsthand.

“If you speak to any board presidents within the Associated, most have gone through the YLC program at some point in their leadership journey,” Friedman noted. “From the four sessions we already had, I know that the members of this cohort will go on to lead boards in their future. We have a strong cohort and I have no doubt that the next generation of leaders are coming from this group. I also hope that the connections developed from the group will continue and lead to lifelong friendships and networks.”


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