JTLI combines traditional Jewish texts and ideas with guest speakers and facilitators who are leaders in many different fields. Not all of the JTLI teachers are Jewish, and not all of the programs focus on Jewish themes alone. Instead, JTLI students explore leaders and leadership itself through a global Jewish lens.
Year 1 focuses on inspiring students to lead. Through seminars, classical Jewish text study, lectures, and field trips, JTLI students achieve a high degree of leadership insight and motivation through four intersecting leadership modules of the JTLI program.
Year 2 focuses on practical application. Students in year 2 complete a leadership project or mentorship of their own choosing with guidance and support from the JTLI team. Sessions in year 2 include skill seminars, in which students practice implementing leadership skills, and discussions with guest speakers about their myriad paths to leadership.
The four leadership modules are:
Students will meet with and learn from social justice leaders in local, national, international, and Israel-related fields. They will explore the ways in which their Judaism informs and inspires them to pursue justice through activism, political engagement and advocacy for timely causes of our time.
This is the section of the program where students cultivate wisdom as the core of effective leadership. They will explore spiritual practices from Judaism and from other traditions, including the meaning and practice of Mitzvot, Mussar, and mindfulness to cultivate accountability, character, and balance in all aspects of leadership.
Students will explore texts, concepts, and Jewish ideas–both classical and modern–around love as committed, engaged action in the world. This module will involve, in addition to learning, direct encounters with leaders working in areas of race, homelessness, and marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ and the disabilities communities, oppressed ethnic and racial communities, and others.
In this module, students are exposed to the unique and revolutionary Jewish tradition of radical inquiry. They will enter into the dynamic of Havruta-learning: the ancient dialectical tradition of challenging one another’s ideas for a higher purpose. They will learn to apply the ancient methodology to modern day conundrums and leadership challenges. They will meet with various thought leaders in a number of fields–writers, journalists, and artists–and explore the way that Jewish insights and practices can help shape students into leaders in all these areas and beyond.