Young Leadership

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Leora Rozin

Director, Leadership Development

Young Leadership serves:

  • Recent Grads
  • Rochester Transplants
  • Busy Professionals
  • Interfaith Couples
  • Families
  • Millennials
  • Gen Z

Federation offers a variety of ways to help you broaden your involvement in the Greater Rochester Jewish community. Via leadership development, learning opportunities, professional networking or tikkun olam (repairing the world/social action), these programs offer opportunities to learn about the important work Federation and our partner agencies do to build a strong and vibrant Jewish community, in Rochester, globally and in Israel, through philanthropy, engagement, education and advocacy.

Discover how you can get more involved.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for upcoming events or explore the entire events calendar to learn about upcoming ways to get involved, visit our event calendar here.

Embrace your role as an emerging community leader.

Planting seeds for those who will grow into great leaders. We provide the water and light the way.

“Uplifting, inspiring and meaningful.” - 2023 Fellow

“What a beautiful way to explore community and open a doorway into my heritage with a more mature adult lens.” - 2023 Fellow

The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester launched the inaugural cohort of the Jay Birnbaum Leadership Development Program in 2023.

Inspired by Jay Birnbaum z”l’s passion for the Rochester Jewish community, the program began for the purpose of cultivating emerging Jewish leaders in the Greater Rochester community. Through building relationships, exploring Jewish identity and learning about leadership through a Jewish lens, the vision for the program is to serve as a springboard for Jewish leaders with graduates of the program serving on committees and boards of every Jewish agency, synagogue and organization in our community, using the knowledge and skills gained over the course of the one-year program to benefit the wider Rochester community as well.

Commitment to this program includes an introduction to the landscape of Jewish Rochester, relationship building, service opportunities, and monthly learning sessions led by multidenominational rabbinic scholars from The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (Clal). Clal supports our group of emerging leaders as they develop their leadership styles, actively practice hard and soft skills needed as a community leader, and explore Judaism in a unique and creative way.

Begin Your Leadership Journey!

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort of the Jay Birnbaum Leadership Development Program will open early spring 2024. Participants will be announced early June 2024 and the program will begin in the fall of 2024 and run through June 2025.



* Fellows are selected via an application process, which includes a nomination and/or a reference from a community leader and zoom interview.

About Jay Birnbaum

The essence of l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation) is embodied in this unique and highly acclaimed leadership development program, a deeply meaningful gift from Jay Birnbaum and his family. 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 at the Jewish Federation, Temple Beth El, JCC, and Hillel School.

He was the owner of Jay Birnbaum Company, a real estate investment and asset management company since 1976. He owned and 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.

Congratulations to the 2023 inaugural cohort:

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

National Young Leadership Cabinet

This program is Jewish Federation of North America’s premier young leadership development program that educates and connects the next generation of global Jewish leaders and philanthropists. Watch this video to learn more:

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).

The deadline for applications and nominations is Friday, May 17, 2024 at 5:00pm (PT).

Each prospective new Cabinet Member must submit the application and be nominated by a professional in their local community. These can be submitted in either order and the links are below:


To learn more, please contact Leora Rozin at or at 585.241.8658.




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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.