Mar 15, 2013

Local YAD Chair Bryan Drowos Returns from Chairing “Be the Change” National Young Leadership Conference

More than 200 like-minded young lay leaders and professionals from Federations across the United States and Canada convened in Dallas on March 10-12 to build their skills as change agents for their communities. Aimed at inspiring younger Jews to become even stronger leaders, “Be the Change” was co-chaired by National Young Leadership (NYL) Cabinet Member Bryan Drowos, who also serves as Young Adult Division (YAD) Chair for the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. Melis Feingold also attended from South Palm Beach County.

The three-day “Leadership Conference Dallas (LCD)” was coordinated by Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) NYL, a network of Jews committed to community and social justice in their 20s, 30s and early 40s. The LCD shared ideas on best practices for recruiting new talent, strengthening existing leadership, originating and running local programming and reaching out to new donors.

“LCD is designed to be both an educational and collaborative next step in the leadership journey for young adults already committed to ‘being the change’ in their Jewish communities,” said Drowos, who co-chaired the conference with Karen Daitch of San Francisco. “What excites us most is that you will see the names of these participants again soon on NYL Cabinet rosters, local and national boards, and in all levels of Jewish philanthropy. This group has taken their seat at the table and is ready to continue their great work of doing good for Jewish People locally and around the world.”

“There are so many promising young Jewish adults across North America whose articulate voices and impressive skills are helping shape our community,” said Michael Siegal, chair of the JFNA Board of Trustees. “JFNA is committed to providing support for nurturing and stewarding our emerging leaders as we work together to build the Jewish future at home and around the world.”

LCD participants enjoyed an open discussion with Siegal as well as Jerry Silverman, JFNA president and CEO. They also engaged with other JFNA leaders, and heard and networked with a range of inspiring speakers and successful young leaders. Sessions at ranged from “Herzl Talks,” or short, engaging overviews modeled after the popular “Ted Talks,” to in-depth forums on advocacy, digital media and fundraising, multi-general philanthropy and communicating with impact. A major focus of the conference was “Taking Risks- Through innovative programming and venture community building.”

“Innovation and problem solving are key to getting people involved,” said Melis Feingold of Boca Raton, on returning from LCD. “I aspire to effect change within my community and on a national level by taking risks. With risk comes inspiration and I hope to inspire my local community here at the Federation of South Palm Beach County.”

“Our community’s participation in National Young Leadership activities continues to be instrumental to building a new generation of Jewish leadership here,” said Matthew C. Levin, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County. “I am proud of and grateful to our young adults who take time from their busy schedules to help engage others in Jewish life and philanthropy toward ensure Jewish vitality, well-being and security now and in the future.”

The Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach also engages young adults in its own YAD Leadership Education and Development Series (LEADS). First and second year classes are now training to step into the forefront of the local Jewish community.