Community leaders connect at retreat
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AJF LaunchPad Leadership

Community leaders connect at retreat

Over 70 philanthropic, lay and senior professional leaders were energised through deliberate conversations about the many challenges facing the Jewish Australian community and the potential for ground-breaking collaborative action.

AJF LaunchPad leadership alumni gathered in-person for the first time.
AJF LaunchPad leadership alumni gathered in-person for the first time.

The Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) convened the inaugural LaunchPad Leadership Alumni Retreat following the success of their virtual program, which engaged three cohorts of 98 leaders from 83 organisations from a cross-section of Jewish Australian communities.

Meeting in person for the first time, the theme of the retreat was “Connecting the impact”, aiming to inspire participants to explore ways to collectively build relationships, strengthen leadership capabilities and create opportunities to harness the power of collaboration, innovation and empowered leadership for greater meaning and connection to Jewish life.

The dream to gather in person was made possible thanks to the generous support and vision of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies (USA), Herrman Rich Family Fund, Hakhel (a collaboration between Hazon and the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs), and program partner, Shalom.

Over 70 philanthropic, lay and senior professional leaders were energised through deliberate conversations about the many challenges facing the Jewish Australian community and the potential for ground-breaking collaborative action.

“With a focus on enabling, empowering and energising our community’s incredibly devoted leaders to step up as agents of change, create meaningful and relevant experiences for themselves, their organisations and the wider Jewish community of Australia and beyond, gathering was a truly unique opportunity to challenge the status quo, dream big and act boldly as one Jewish Australia,” said Tracie Olcha, AJF CEO and founder of LaunchPad.

Highlights of the program included a session with Ukrainian ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko, and a keynote delivered by Alex Vynokur, founder and CEO of BetaShares and chair of the United Ukraine Appeal.

The retreat also featured masterclasses with Jessica Mendoza-Roth on impact measurement, Dr Vicki Gordon on self-care in leadership and Rachel Flitman on co-design for community building.

A plenary session was also hosted with international guest presenter Aharon Ariel Lavi, founder and director of Hakhel (Israel), on building international Jewish communities.

The program involved peer-led sessions exploring public speaking, organic leadership and first aid, and an inspiring evening of impact stories and a joyful night of giving.

“LaunchPad Leadership retreat put a fire in my belly and fed my soul. I’m so grateful to have met amazing leaders in our community from across Australia,” said Jessica Chasen, Head of Annual Campaign at the JCA.

“It gives me hope for the future knowing we will plan together and move forward with great strength.”

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