Young Leadership

Young Leadership serves the Jewish community in Greater Rochester (ages 21-45) through a variety of programming including social engagement, professional networking, enriching and educational opportunities, leadership development, and tikkun olam (repairing the world/social action).

The Jay Birnbaum Leadership Development Program


The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester is delighted to announce the 2023 Jay Birnbaum Leadership Development Program class. The class will be chaired by David Clar.


This is the first cohort of the Jay Birnbaum Leadership Development Program. The program is a year in length and begins at the end of this month. The group will meet monthly, with Graduation in December.


Congratulations to this inaugural cohort:

Contact Us


Marissa Fishman

Director of Roc City Jews

Amitai Berger

Marc Cohen

Zachary Ellis 
Anna Gossin-Maiman

Ilana Griffo

Benjamin Hart

Shmuel Herman 
Daniel Jablansky

Lisa Kaufman 
Cameron Konar

Max Krieger

Jack McMahon

Molly Okun

Joseph Petralia

Leora Rozin
Nathaniel Salzman

Clara Sanguinetti

Zachary Schurkman

Jessica Steklof

Ariel Stelzner

Daniella Vatch

Elana Vigdor

Steven Wolk

Danielle Zatkowsky

Rachel Zeger
Solomon Zisser 

About the Program


The Jay Birnbaum Leadership Development Program began for the purpose of training outstanding Jewish young men and women in the Greater Rochester Jewish community for positions of leadership. Participants in the program are selected from nominations made by Rochester’s Jewish community leaders. Graduates of the program will serve on the boards of every Jewish agency, synagogue and organization in our community, and will use the knowledge gained from the program to benefit the wider Rochester community as well. 


This program will be led by rabbinic scholars from The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (Clal) to help emerging leaders identify and develop their leadership styles, expose them to a myriad of opportunities within the Rochester Jewish community, actively work and practice hard and soft skills needed as a community leader, and explore Judaism in a unique and creative way.



2023 Session Topics - Tenative and Subject to Change

Cohort Formation and Group Bonding:

  • Building relationships, sharing our stories, reflection on our Jewish experiences and identity; and
  • Develop an overall understanding of the program including an overview, introduction of program participants, program outcomes, expectations and responsibilities.

Leadership Mindsets:

  • Difference between leadership (mindset and heartset) and being a leader (a role).

Successful Collaboration and Building Community:

  • Explore strategies for building more positive, collaborative relationships; and
  • Create strategies for building stronger teams within the community.


  • Content of and approaches to antisemitism; and
  • How does antisemitism show up in our lives and how can we respond?
Jewish Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Israel and the Israel/Diaspora Relationship:

  • Reflect on our own relationships with Israel;
  • Deepen knowledge about the history and political climate of Israel; and
  • Learn to advocate for Israel through honest and difficult conversations about the country.


  • Philanthropy, tzedakah, fundraising;
  • Ethics of affluence; and
  • Jewish values around money.

General Leadership:

  • The shifting Jewish world today; 
  • Adaptive leadership; and
  • Finding our role.

This program is named after Jay Birnbaum. He was the owner of Jay Birnbaum Company, a real estate investment and asset management company since 1976.  He owned and asset managed shopping centers, office buildings, industrial buildings, flex buildings, and residential properties in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Kansas, and Missouri.


Jay was a member of the Rochester Angel Network, on the Board of Directors of two Rochester start-up companies, and an investor in three other start-up companies and ran Side Car Fund.  He taught Real Estate Evaluation at RIT for over 20 years and Real Estate Principles at St. John Fisher for four years. He loved teaching more than anything.


Jay was a fifth generation Rochesterian and was always concerned with the Rochester Jewish community remaining strong and vibrant in the future. He was a longtime leader of Federation, Temple Beth El, JCC, and Hillel School.



National Young Leadership Cabinet


Federation's premier young leadership development program that educates and connects the next generation of global Jewish leaders and philanthropists.


Cabinet trains and inspires the most promising young volunteers ages 30-40 for positions of leadership in the Jewish community. Since its founding in 1963, NYLC has successfully attracted individuals who lead at the highest levels of Jewish communal life.


Cabinet’s focus is to provide tools for participants to better themselves and their capacity as leaders through continued learning, reflection, and action. Members participate in a five-year curriculum that builds on a series of Jewish values: Hineni (Call to Leadership), Achrayut (Responsibility), Kehilah Kedosha (Sacred Community), Klal Yisrael (Jewish Peoplehood), and Hazon (Vision).


NYL Cabinet applications are currently open through June 3, 2022.


To learn more, please contact Marissa Fishman at or at 585.241.8658.

Ways to Give

Every day, we work to provide compassionate, strategic, and comprehensive support, no matter the situation. There is no organization better positioned to do this than the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.